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Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report

Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Troy Closson

Cook County residents and homeowners made $109 million as Airbnb hosts last year, the hospitality service announced Monday.

About 710,000 guests in the area used the platform in 2018, according to Airbnb, and Cook County hosts, on average, made about $8,100.

The announcement comes after a recent report that the Chicago hotel business thrived in 2018.

Hotels’ occupancy rate, room demand and overall revenue rose last year amid a record-setting boom for tourism in the city, according to Choose Chicago.

Some reports released last year showed that in the U.S. cities with the largest Airbnb market shares, the entry of the service led to a decline in hotel revenue and nights booked. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Chicago.

“Local data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the Greater Chicago hotel industry,” Airbnb said.

The company also highlighted the city’s South and West sides as two regions benefitting from Airbnb’s presence in the market. Both areas have seen increased listings and revenue over the past few years.

“Home sharing is an economic engine for homeowners and small businesses in communities ranging from the South Side of Chicago to the south suburbs of Cook County,” Airbnb’s Chicago policy manager Allison Schraub said in an email statement. “We see these results as indicative of what’s possible when cities, hosts and platforms like Airbnb work together on fair regulations, as has been the case in Chicago.”

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