Airbnb rentals help juice local economy: study

Report on Vancouver benefits comes in wake of push by cities to regulate booking platform

Vancouver attracted 267

As B.C. cities grapple with options to regulate Airbnb, the online vacation rental broker has released a study that argues the money hosts collect has large positive ripple effects throughout the economy.

The economic impact study by University of Victoria business professor Brock Smith for Airbnb focused on the City of Vancouver, which intends to require business licences for all Airbnb operators, and use of primary residences only in a bid to stem what local politicians fear is a shift of long-term rental housing to lucrative vacation rentals.

It found the 267,000 Airbnb guests that stayed in Vancouver in the 12 months ended Aug. 31 spent nearly $180 million with local businesses, generating more than $400 million in total economic activity once spinoff effects are included.

Smith calculated that the spending by guests support the equivalent of 9,100 full-time jobs and $32 million in municipal taxes for the City of Vancouver.

The projected impacts drop considerably if a more conservative measure is used. The specific economic benefit is the spending that would never have been made had guests not been able to book through Airbnb, and Smith pegs that number at a more modest $23 million, supporting 518 full-time equivalent jobs and $1.8 million in local taxes.

Read also:  Airbnb pledges to help cities regulate, tax rentals

Smith said the economic impact of Airbnb in other communities in B.C., such as Victoria, would likely be proportional to the results for Vancouver, depending on the relative degree of local Airbnb activity.

“The average visitor in Vancouver was spending about $151 per person per day and that’s very consistent with a Tourism Victoria exit survey,” Smith said in an interview.

Airbnb stays represent less than three per cent of the nine million annual tourists to Vancouver.

The average host earns $6,500 a year and the average guest pays $60 per night, according to Airbnb. Most bookings in Vancouver were for entire homes.

Other communities across B.C., from Tofino to Nelson, have either regulated Airbnb or are weighing options.

An Airbnb official told a forum at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in September the booking platform was willing to collect and remit accommodation taxes in cities that require them.

Local politicians at that forum were warned Airbnb rentals are accelerating a crisis of scarce rental housing in many communities, and were urged to regulate the rapidly growing phenomenon to protect housing for residents, students and workers.

Since then, Airbnb has mounted a major advertising blitz as Vancouver council prepares to impose regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

City of Victoria to start charging illegal short-term rental operators

Anyone without a proper business license could face $500 per day in fines

Crown to appeal acquittal of Victoria masseur accused of sexual assault

BC Prosecution Service review of the ruling found ‘the judgment revealed errors of fact and law’

Bike thief steals elderly man’s electric-assist bike

Bicycle is a black Raleigh Sprite IE Electric stolen from 600-block of Toronto Street

City of Victoria reaches impasse on hosting a casino, votes to never reply to BCLC

Conflict between legal concerns and reconciliation push decision ‘into the ether’

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read