Use of Airbnb grows across Florida

By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Airbnb hosts in Tallahassee earned nearly $2 million offering their homes to guests in 2017.

That number accounts for about 15,000 guests choosing the home-sharing company in the capital city.

According to Airbnb, usership has grown by about 75 percent in Florida this year compared to last year. That encompasses about 2.7 million guests and nearly 40,000 hosts.

However, just because Airbnb usage is up, it doesn’t mean hotel usage is down.

In a November report, Visit Florida stated that tourism numbers have hit a record high for the first nine months of the year. The number of hotel rooms sold in Florida during quarter three of 2017 grew by 4.7 percent compared to quarter three 2016.

CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said there’s been an explosion in both new hotel and Airbnb rental openings this year.

“(Marriott, since the acquisition of Starwood, is) opening one new hotel every 14 hours. Airbnb is also exploding. They’re now controlling about seven percent of the room supply globally,” he said.

"Where they're competing is not in the number of rooms. They're competing in the areas of experience. What can the hotels enable you to do to have an authentic genuine experience because you're staying at the hotel, but not necessarily at the hotel? And the same thing from Airbnb,” said Greenberg.

He also said the increase in stock from both Airbnb and hotels could help bring travel prices down in the upcoming year.

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