Airbnb, the world's leading community driven hospitality company, announced that its Murfreesboro host community earned a combined $715,000 in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 6,000 guest arrivals to the city in 2017.
Those 6,000 guest arrivals reflect an extraordinary 191% year-over-year growth. There are currently about 100 active Airbnb hosts in Murfreesboro, half of whom simply share an extra, unused room in their home (i.e. empty nester). The typical Murfreesboro host earns about $6,000 annually in supplemental income through the Airbnb platform.
Statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing -- rather than competing with -- the Tennessee hotel industry. A late 2017 report from Marcus & Millichap concludes that Tennessee hotels outside of Nashville are demonstrating strong revenue growth. Specifically, Murfreesboro is in the midst of a hotel boom. This suggests that Airbnb is opening up the city to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.
Airbnb hosts in particular play a big role in expanding lodging capacity for Murfreesboro during major events that cause local hotels to reach peak occupancy or sell out. For example, by far the largest surge of guests to Murfreesboro in the history of Airbnb's platform occurred in in late August 2017, as Murfreesboro took center stage in the heart of the solar eclipse's path of totality. Home sharing allowed hundreds of additional eclipse-goers to experience Murfreesboro and contribute to the local merchant community in the process.
Additionally, the local home sharing community often plays a valuable role in expanding lodging capacity during events associated with Middle Tennessee State. For example, the second highest surge to Murfreesboro came the weekend of October 7-8, which was MTSU Homecoming.
Thanks to a recent tax agreement between Airbnb and the Tennessee Department of Revenue, Murfreesboro will be able to capitalize further on home sharing revenue. Last month, Airbnb announced the agreement which will allow the platform to collect and remit both the state sales tax (7%) and local sales taxes (1.5%-2.75% depending on the local jurisdiction) on behalf of its hosts. In Murfreesboro, the local sales tax is 2.75%.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb's mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests, while Places lets people discover the hidden gems of a city as recommended by the people that live there. Airbnb is people powered and the easiest way to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities.