Airbnb boosts Laois and other parts of midlands by €2 million

Airbnb boosts Laois and other parts of midlands by €2 million X X

Business Reporter news@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Airbnb has claimed that its home-based hospitality service is worth €2million to Laois and othercounties in the midlands resulting in a positive impact for the rural economy.

The report, entitled “Home-Sharing: Empowering Regional & Rural Ireland”, was launched by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD.

It shows that the Airbnb community contributed an estimated €2 million to the Midlands Region, which includes Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath, in the last year.

The report is an analysis of all travel to, and within, regional and rural Ireland outside of Dublin, from September 2015 through to August 2016.

Global head of customer experience at Airbnb, Aisling Hassell said: “This report shows the positive impact this new form of tourism is having on more remote parts of the country that haven’t traditionally benefited from tourism, enabling guests to experience some of the most beautiful parts of The Emerald Isle, away from the typical holiday destinations.”

Airbnb say communities are seeing benefits from its service through tourism and economic development in places where alternative accommodation is not available. Equally by hosting on Airbnb, individual households are able to generate a little extra income to help make ends meet.

Commenting on the report launch Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD said: “ The benefit of the Airbnb model is that it can bring new visitors to remote locations, providing a new potential source of revenue for communities. By providing alternative accommodation options in rural villages and towns, we can help to grow tourism and have a positive knock-on impact on other businesses in rural Ireland.”

Some highlights of the report include:

● In the past year alone, 11,000 unique hosts welcomed over 650,000 guests to their homes across Ireland (including Dublin).

● There were 5,500 inbound guests to the Midland region in the past year staying an average of 2.3 nights each visiting for holiday and leisure.

● In the last year, 180 hosts in the Midland Region have earned an average additional income of €1,000 per household.

● 44 percent of hosts in the regional and rural report said that they are using the income to make ends meet.

●● 82 percent of guests said that Airbnb accommodation would make them more likely to return.