Airbnb Florida announced that its Florida vacation rental hosts earned a combined $450 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 2.7 million guests to the state in 2017.
The 2.7 million guests to Florida represent 75 percent year-over-year growth. This comes as state residents increasingly embrace the vacation rental platform as an opportunity to earn income and expand their community’s lodging capacity.
Now nearly 40,000 Floridians share their homes or vacation rentals through Airbnb, with each host typically earning about $6,700 annually.
"Vacation rentals provide a tremendous impact for the local tourism industry and Florida’s overall economy," said Sen. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota). "We must protect private property rights so that Florida homeowners can continue to participate in the sharing economy and provide additional options for travelers to our state."
Florida hotels experienced strong growth in occupancy rates, prices and revenue during 2017 — in parallel with vacation rental growth for the year.
This suggests that vacation rentals on Airbnb and other platforms are opening the state to a new demographic of tourists by catering to travelers who are less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to vacation together under one roof.
"We are proud to contribute to Florida's record-setting tourism by opening up the state to new segments of visitors," said Jennifer Frankenstein-Harris, president of the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association. "We are committed to partnering with the governor and lawmakers to further infuse Florida's economy with additional revenue and elevate Florida's status as a global hub for family-friendly tourism.
In addition to the new personal income going into the pockets of Florida hosts, the vacation rental community is also generating new public revenues that benefit the state and dozens of local communities through tax agreements that allow Airbnb to collect and remit taxes on behalf of its hosts.
Airbnb is authorized to collect and pay the state sales tax on all bookings in Florida, in addition to collecting and paying local bed taxes in 39 counties.
In 2017 alone, Airbnb secured new tax agreements with six counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Sarasota, Polk, Hillsborough and Leon. The company will release a 2017 county-by-county tax report once the December taxes are remitted.