Rural Texas experiencing explosive Airbnb growth


The Texas hotel industry is booming in the metro-areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. But, rural Texas sometimes has limited traditional lodging options, if any at all.

That leaves home sharing to fill that void.

Ben Breit with Airbnb Texas said that Texans in rural counties earned $20.6 million in supplemental income while welcoming 169,000 guests through Airbnb over the past 12 months, representing a remarkable 93 percent rate of year-over-year growth.

“Earn a little supplemental income in the process and there’s a trickle down effect for the neighborhoods and communities, as well, when more people are able to come and spend money,” said Breit.

Last July, Airbnb announced that it delivered $15.3 million in home sharing and short-term rental tax revenue on behalf of its Texas hosts in the first year of the agreement, nearly doubling initial projections.

“Some folks just want to get off the beaten path. They’re looking for a peaceful, tranquil, outdoorsy experience. Sometimes they’re traveling for business and they want to be within five minutes of their destination, as opposed to the nearest hotel, a half hour away. Sometimes they’re going to visit family,” said B.

Last April, Airbnb announced a tax agreement with the Texas Comptroller’s Office, authorizing the home sharing platform to automatically collect the six percent state hotel occupancy tax on behalf of its host community and remit the revenue directly to the state.

  • 80 percent of the 15 active Airbnb hosts in Austin County live in census-designated rural tracts
  • 90 percent of the 20 active Airbnb hosts in Burleson County live in census-designated rural tracts
  • 90 percent of the 25 active Airbnb hosts in Calhoun County live in census-designated rural tracts
  • 100 percent of the 15 active Airbnb hosts in San Jacinto County live in census-designated rural tracts

Additionally, in dozens of Texas counties that are technically state-designated as urban, the majority of Airbnb hosts live in areas that are census-designated as rural tracts. For example, Bandera County is state-designated as urban, but all 65 homeowners that host through Airbnb happen to live in census-designated rural tracts.

 

Below are the urban counties where 50% or more of the Airbnb hosts live in census-designated rural tracts (please note that data for these counties does not figure into the $20.6 million or 169,000 guest numbers).

·         Archer

·         Atascosa

·         Austin (80% of the 15 active Airbnb hosts in Austin County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Bandera (100% of the 65 active Airbnb hosts in Bandera County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Bastrop

·         Burleson (90% of the 20 active Airbnb hosts in Burleson County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Caldwell

·         Calhoun (90% of the 25 active Airbnb hosts in Calhoun County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Callahan

·         Carson

·         Chambers

·         Comal (180 Comal County residents in census-designated rural tracts are active Airbnb hosts)

·         Coryell

·         Delta

·         Grayson (78% of the 70 active Airbnb hosts in Grayson County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Hays (290 Hays County residents in census-designated rural tracts are active Airbnb hosts)

·         Hunt

·         Irion

·         Jones

·         Kaufman

·         Liberty

·         Kendall

·         Medina

·         Parker (70% of the 50 active Airbnb hosts in Parker County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Randall

·         Robertson

·         Rusk

·         San Jacinto (100% of the 15 active Airbnb hosts in San Jacinto County live in census-designated rural tracts)

·         Waller

·         Wilson

·         Wise

·         Hardin (90% of the 10 active Airbnb hosts in Hardin County live in census-designated tracts)

·         Upshur

 

Airbnb recently launched an Office of Healthy Tourism, with a mission to support tourism in Texas and beyond that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. The company recently released a report highlighting the #1 most wish-listed listings in the top 50 cities in Texas-- a list that included cities like Fredericksburg, Terlingua, Alpine, Marfa and Kerrville -- cities located in state-designated rural counties.

Opening up the state to increased tourism has a trickle-down effect both in terms of guest spending at local small businesses and tax revenue to the state. In April 2017, Airbnb announced a tax agreement with the Texas Comptroller’s Office, authorizing the home sharing platform to automatically collect the 6% state hotel occupancy tax on behalf of its host community and remit the revenue directly to the state. Last July, Airbnb announced that it delivered $15.3 million in home sharing and short-term rental tax revenue on behalf of its Texas hosts in the first year of the agreement, nearly doubling initial projections.

Learn more about Airbnb in Texas here.

About Airbnb

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is a global travel community that offers magical end-to-end trips, including where you stay, what you do and the people you meet. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace offers access to millions of places to stay in more than 191 countries, from apartments and villas to castles, treehouses and B&Bs. With Experiences, people can see a different side to a destination through unique, handcrafted activities run by locals, while a partnership with Resy provides access to the best local restaurants in selected countries. All of this is brought together in one easy-to-use and beautifully designed website and app.


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