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Airbnb Study Says Airbnb Is Great For New York's Economy

Airbnb generated $632 million in economic activity in New York City last year, including $104 million in the outer boroughs, the study says.

[Image: Flickr user velkr0]

Airbnb wants New York State legislators—particularly the attorney general—to know just how beneficial its short-term rentals service has been for the city's economic health. At a press conference today in New York, Airbnb's head of public policy, Molly Turner, presented the results of a (rather rosy) study the company recently commissioned.

Some highlights from the study, which was conducted by the economic development firm HR&A Advisors and comprised surveys of 1,300 Airbnb hosts and guests, focus groups, and company data:

  • Airbnb generated $632 million in economic activity in New York City last year, including $104 million in the outer boroughs.
  • 82% of Airbnb listings in NYC fall outside the city's major hotel areas and encompass all five boroughs.
  • Last year, Airbnb activity in NYC generated $43 million in taxes for NYC and New York state.
  • 42,000 guests say they would not have stayed in NYC without Airbnb.
  • 87% of Airbnb hosts are primary residents in the homes they rent out to guests. The average host makes $7,530 in annual income from Airbnb.
  • Airbnb's economic impact in NYC is three times greater than in its second-largest market, Paris ($240 million in economic impact last year).

As a refresher: Airbnb is currently at a standstill with the office of the attorney general, which several weeks ago issued the company a subpoena demanding user data on 15,000 New York City hosts in an attempt to crack down on so-called "illegal hotel" operations. Airbnb's global public policy director David Hantman called the request "unreasonably broad," and the company filed a motion with the New York State Supreme Court the next day in objection.

Today, all Hantman had to add on the matter was that he's "optimistic" Airbnb can come to an agreement that works for both the city and the company. As for the controversial issue of rental taxes, Hantman says: "We are eager to help pay the taxes that are owed." Just how the company plans to do that remains to be seen.

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