Airbnb, the world’s leading community driven hospitality company, announced today that its Rhea County host community experienced significant growth in 2017, as tourists increasingly pursue authentic travel experiences in more rural parts of Tennessee.
In Rhea County, local homeowners welcomed 430 guests through Airbnb in 2017, representing an extraordinary 874% year-over-year growth. In the process, those homeowners earned a combined $62,000 by sharing their homes.
While Airbnb had previously released a report documenting growth in larger metro areas like Knoxville, this new data demonstrates the economic impact of home sharing for more rural areas with much less hotel inventory to welcome travelers and the revenue they bring with them. And statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the Tennessee hotel industry. A late 2017 report from Marcus & Millichap concludes that Tennessee hotels outside of Nashville are demonstrating strong revenue growth. This suggests that Airbnb is opening up the county to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.
Thanks to a recent tax agreement between Airbnb and the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Rhea County will be able to capitalize further on home sharing revenue. Last month, Airbnb announced the agreement which will allow the platform to collect and remit both the state sales tax (7%) and local sales taxes (1.5%-2.75% depending on the local jurisdiction) on behalf of its hosts. In Dayton, the local sales tax is 2.75%
Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests, while Places lets people discover the hidden gems of a city as recommended by the people that live there. Airbnb is people powered and the easiest way to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities.