London: Airbnb has announced Londoners earned £23 million renting out rooms through the home-sharing platform over the festive period.
It said just over 100,000 people stayed in Airbnb properties between 22 December and 2 January, spending a collective total of £23 million, which is about £230 per person.
Of the guest arrivals, 22 per cent were families, with Americans at the top of the list of nationalities, followed by the UK, France, Australia and Germany.
London academic Ariel Chen and her entrepreneur husband Taman Powell rented out their spare room in London Bridge to a guest at Christmas for about £125 per night.
Chen told Homes and Property: “I first discovered Airbnb as a guest whilst I was travelling and really enjoyed the experience, so thought I would give hosting a try.
“I got started based on the assumption that if I didn’t like it, I could always just stop, but I have found the experience really positive, so have been doing so ever since. I really enjoy and don’t think of Christmas as having a difference versus other times.
“One year a guest even joined us for Christmas dinner, which was lovely. It’s so nice meeting people who are visiting and getting to share things you like about your local area with them.
“Also, I think as Londoners you sometimes forget what a great city you live in so it’s nice to have a stream of people who are excited to be in London visiting to help you remember. We’ve kept in touch with guests and have even had some move to the area after spending time with us,” she added.
Airbnb’s Northern Europe manager, Hadi Moussa, said: “It’s great to see so many people coming to visit London over the festive season, and that Londoners are making the most of hosting and opening up their homes over the holidays. With over 100,000 guest arrivals to the city over the period, there is ample opportunity to welcome guests and show them everything that London has to offer during this time of year.”
Data collected by Visit Britain indicated there were 17.9 million inbound visits to the UK between January and June 2018 and those visitors spent £10.3 billion.
An estimated 13 million Brits made an overnight trip in the UK during the Christmas and New Year period, bringing in £2.6 billion to the economy.