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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read