The Airbnb economy in Ireland is worth €202m and employs over 2,000 people

10 Dec 2015

Proving it is more than just a cottage industry, the Airbnb economy in Ireland generated €202m last year.

The Airbnb economy employs 2,020 people in Ireland and has generated €202m in activity in just one year, according to figures from the community hospitality platform.

According to the data from Airbnb, the platform is diversifying tourism in Ireland and around 330,000 guests have used Airbnb to visit Ireland in the past year.

Meanwhile, 213,000 Irish residents have used Airbnb to explore the world.

Airbnb listings in Ireland have more than doubled since 2010 and span more than 500 cities and towns in all Irish counties.

In the past year, 7,200 Irish hosts welcomed guests into their homes.

According to Airbnb, the typical host earned €2,600 a year by sharing their space for 46 nights a year.

“Airbnb shows how quickly the sharing economy is changing the traditional economy,” said economist David McWilliams.

“It is a disruptive trend that will change how, why, where and when we travel, which will have profound effects on the economy in the years ahead.”

The study found that Airbnb hosts are regular people who share their homes and use the money they earn to stay in their homes and pay the bills.

Hosts are attracting new visitors to Ireland who stay longer, spend more and are more likely to return, and spread economic benefits to communities and local businesses that haven’t previously benefited from tourism.

No longer a cottage industry

Airbnb guests are typically people who want authentic experiences and want to live like a local in 83pc of cases.

The average Airbnb guest spent €561 per visitor per trip.

“Airbnb helps grow and diversify tourism, spreads benefits to new communities and local businesses, and is a lifeline for thousands of Irish residents, helping them stay in their homes and support their families,” said Patrick Robinson, head of public policy at Airbnb.

“We want to work with everyone in Ireland on progressive measures to support Irish residents who share their homes to help make ends meet.”

A unicorn with a €25bn valuation, Airbnb – which now employs 200 people in Dublin – has come a long way from its humble origins only a few years ago.

The company was founded in 2008 by a group of friends in San Francisco — Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia — who had no money and wanted to establish a B&B but all they had was an air mattress.

The company is leasing buildings at 8 Hanover Quay to house its European headquarters in a building valued at over €30m.

Irish cottage image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years