The homesharing platform Airbnb is reporting outstanding growth in Nebraska during the past year.
Ben Breit, spokesman for the hospitality company’s Midwest division, says the popularity of the program is bounding week after week, month after month.
“In 2017, Nebraska hosts earned about $4.3-million in supplemental income while welcoming 46,000 guests,” Breit says. “Those numbers both more than doubled the results from 2016.”
Users of Airbnb usually like to get off the beaten path and don’t want to be confined just to big cities and hotel districts.
“They want to be able to experience new neighborhoods that maybe don’t have hotels, or they want to get out to more rural areas of the state where entire counties sometimes don’t have hotels,” Breit says. “They’re looking for new experiences, authentic experiences and that’s what this platform provides.”
Omaha was the top Airbnb city in Nebraska with nearly 27,000 guests during the year, while hosts there earned $2.7-million. Lincoln was the number-two city, followed by Bellevue, Gretna and Kearney.
The fastest-growing demographic for hosts in the Midwest is older people.
“Commonly empty nesters, their kids have grown up and left the home, now they have an extra empty room or two or three just sitting there,” Breit says. “Five years ago, they would’ve been collecting dust. Now, a lot of these seniors are realizing they have an economic opportunity on their hands.”
Hosts keep 97% of the room rates, he notes, with 3% going to Airbnb for facilitating the transaction.