Friday 23 August 2019

Airbnb added €700m to our economy, says firm as new rules kick in

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Stock picture
Transform travel: Jean Hoey said Airbnb spreads the benefit of tourism
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Airbnb was worth more than €700m to the Irish economy last year, figures released by the short-term rental company claim.

The information has been published in the wake of new short-term letting regulations, which were introduced yesterday.

The new regulations aim to bring in a "one host, one home" model for Airbnb.

The Government established the new rules in April by altering the Planning and Development Act 2000. Those who rent short-term in rent pressure zones in Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick must either register with their local council as landlords or apply for change-of-use planning permission.

Only those who rent out a room or a property for 90 days or fewer can register.

Those letting a home for more than 90 days, or landlords renting a second property to tourists or others short-term, must apply for planning permission.

Making a move to show its economic importance to Ireland, Airbnb has now outlined that host income and guest spending was estimated to be worth €704,277,585 to Ireland's economy in 2018.

It also revealed that 1.8 million visitors to Ireland last year used Airbnb for some or all of their visit here, with visitors supposedly spending €116 on average per day.

Meanwhile, Irish hosts made almost €168m over the year, according to the new information.

Jean Hoey, public policy lead for Airbnb in Ireland, said the company was aiding hosts to comply with the new rules.

"Airbnb has transformed the way people travel, helping visitors to stay and explore in Ireland beyond the traditional destinations and hotspots," she said.

"Our community of hosts and guests is helping to spread the benefits of domestic and overseas tourism and putting money in the pockets of local families, businesses and communities.

"With new regulations coming into effect today, we are continuing to work with our host community to help it understand and comply with the new rules."

The data also shows that Kerry was the most popular place for Airbnb rentals in 2018.

Three of the top five destinations for visitors outside the main urban centres in the country were in the Kingdom.

Killarney topped the poll, followed by Dingle.

Westport in Co Mayo came in third place, with Tralee in fourth place.

Kilkenny rounded off the list in fifth place.

Internationally, Airbnb was worth €33.8bn to the US economy, €5.6bn to the UK's and €4.3bn to Canada's in 2018.

Irish Independent

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