Private short-term accommodations in Canada generated an estimated $2.8 billion in revenue in 2018, according to Statistics Canada.
The agency defines short-term accommodation services as short-term rentals of properties that individuals or businesses offer.
This figure of $2.8 billion included both the revenue that hosts listing their dwellings earn as well as revenues earned by digital intermediary platforms (like Airbnb) that operate the platforms that list dwellings for rentals.
The figure appears in a new report measuring private short-term accommodation in Canada between 2015 to 2018. It finds that digital platforms have transformed the intermediary platforms that connect buyers and sellers in an increasing number of markets, including the rentals of private accommodations.
“While peer-to-peer transactions have always existed, the scale and pace of their expansion are facilitated by the emergence of digital intermediary platforms,” it reads.
Much of this activity has taken place in three provinces: Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. This trio accounts for nearly 90 per cent of total revenues in 2018. The provincial government last year started to tax Airbnb.
It is not clear how many British Columbians rent out their private properties to travellers.
“Most of the digital platforms that facilitate private short-term accommodation rentals are foreign establishments and Statistics Canada does not have the authority to collect data from non-resident entities,” it reads. “At the same time, there does not exist a list of individuals in Canada who offer private short-term accommodation services from which a sample can be drawn and a survey designed.”