US: Over a half-million guests stayed overnight in homes and apartments booked through Airbnb in 2019, with hosts earning around $91 million last year – an all-time high.
As Airbnb rentals rocket in Maine, communities such as Portland and South Portland have enacted rules that limit the number of short-term rental units, as well as calling for registration and safety inspections for hosts and their properties.
Yet despite these, Airbnb’s growth in Maine has more than tripled since 2016 according to the company, welcoming almost 542,000 people in 2019 alone.
Five weekends in late July and mid-August accounted for 113,800 guests with more than $31 million in host earnings – equivalent to nearly a third of annual revenue.
Cumberland County held the largest number of guests in the state at 191,000, followed by York and Hancock.
“As we reflect on this past year and celebrate the beginning of a new one, we are proud to have played a small role in countless memories and cultural exchanges across Vacationland – from summer trips to leaf peeping to the holiday season,” said Josh Meltzer, head of public policy for Airbnb in the Northeast.
Three years ago, Airbnb decided to automatically charge guests the state’s nine per cent lodging tax when booking a property through the platform. This charge is on top of the three per cent fee for hosts to use the service, and up to 13 per cent for guest bookings.
Short-term rentals such as those booked through Airbnb and Vrbo account for around 10 per cent of the $904 million spent on hotels, inns, and other accommodation over the first eight months of 2019 in Maine, according to the county’s tax records.