Airbnb guests made $900,000 economic impact on St. Pete/Clearwater during college football championship - SaintPetersBlog

Airbnb guests made $900,000 economic impact on St. Pete/Clearwater during college football championship

Airbnb announced today that the Airbnb community generated over $900,000 in economic activity for St. Petersburg and Clearwater during the days leading up to Clemson’s victory over Alabama.

In the three days preceding the game (Jan. 7-9), St. Petersburg welcomed over 760 guest arrivals through the Airbnb home sharing platform.

St. Petersburg’s Airbnb host community earned approximately $291,000 in supplemental income over this stretch. Based on the daily rate at which Airbnb visitors to St. Petersburg typically spend their disposable income with neighborhood merchants and restaurants, Airbnb projects that guests contributed an additional $218,000 to the St. Petersburg economy (not taking into account potential extra spending in connection with the game). Combined, that results in $509,000 in economic activity through Airbnb guests in St. Petersburg.

In the three days preceding the game (Jan. 7-9), Clearwater welcomed over 650 guest arrivals through the Airbnb home sharing platform. Clearwater’s Airbnb host community earned approximately $204,000 in supplemental income over this stretch. Based on the daily rate at which Airbnb visitors to Clearwater typically spend their disposable income with neighborhood merchants and restaurants, Airbnb projects that guests contributed an additional $195,000 to the Tampa economy (again not taking into account potential extra spending in connection with the game). Combined, that results in $399,000 in economic activity through Airbnb guests in St. Petersburg.

The City of Tampa experienced a $1 million economic impact from Airbnb guests in the run-up to the game. However, the massive surge of 100,000 travelers to the region still spurred significant spillover to neighboring markets like St. Petersburg and Clearwater, where hotel rooms were also at a premium. The Pinellas County home sharing community similarly expanded lodging capacity, allowing the cities to welcome as many travelers as possible and take advantage of the economic opportunity presented by the game.

Despite the surge in travelers, pricing for Airbnb listings remained very affordable. The typical daily price of a Tampa Airbnb listing in the days preceding the game was just $100, while typical St. Petersburg listings went for $75 and typical Clearwater listings went for $105.

“Home sharing continues to drive significant economic development throughout Pinellas and HIllsborough,” said Tom Martinelli, Airbnb Florida Policy Director. “Our host community allowed thousands of additional people to authentically experience St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa due prior to the game, often in neighborhoods that lack hotels and do not typically get access to tourist revenue.”

Airbnb and Pinellas County collaborated in December 2015 on a deal that allows Airbnb to automatically collect and remit the local bed tax on behalf of its Pinellas host community. This resulted in $900,000 of revenue for the County in 2016. In December 2016, Airbnb worked with Hillsborough County on a similar partnership that will allow the company to collect and remit bed taxes on behalf of its Hillsborough host community beginning on February 1.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.
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