By: Josh Meltzer, Head of Northeast Policy – Airbnb
Over the past 10 years, Airbnb has transformed the travel economy, harnessing technology to deliver a more personal, accessible, and affordable experience for travelers while allowing families to use their biggest investment — their home — to generate some extra income.
But in that time, Airbnb has emerged as more than just a means to democratize tourism; it has also become a proven regional economic driver, especially in communities like Buffalo.
42 percent of Airbnb guests enjoy the local shops and restaurants in the neighborhood where they stay. This means that Airbnb travelers visiting Buffalo are not just tourists, but also customers — customers who are spending their money in small businesses that have historically have been shut out of the benefits of the tourism economy.
That’s why we are providing this unique look at how home sharing is growing in Buffalo. By understanding who our guests are, small business owners citywide will be better able to understand how they can benefit from Airbnb in the Queen City.
How Home Sharing is Positively Impacting Buffalo:
1. RECORD VISITORS:
Buffalo was the leading destination in New York this past year, behind New York City, and saw a record number of Airbnb “guest arrivals” (people visiting Buffalo using Airbnb). This year, Buffalo saw 63,481 guest arrivals, up from 39,369 last year—a 61.2 percent increase. That increase in guest arrivals offers businesses a clear opportunity to cash in on the growth of home sharing citywide.
2. QUEEN CITY = FAMILY FRIENDLY:
The number of family guest arrivals to Buffalo has nearly doubled — from 6,228 last year to 11,675 this year — with family guest arrivals now account for 18 percent of all guest arrivals. That suggests that visitors may be increasingly looking for family-friendly activities and opportunities while in the Queen City.
3. NEW YORK LOVES BUFFALO:
Nearly one quarter of Buffalo visitors are from New York State, with the city welcoming 14,192 fellow New Yorkers. After New York State, guests are most often from Ontario, Canada and then California — though the city has hosted guests from all 50 states and 104 countries in total over the past year.
4. ..AND ESPECIALLY NYC AND ROCHESTER:
New York City and Rochester are among the top five origin cities for guests to Buffalo — suggesting that many visitors are not just touring the Queen City, but could also be taking in a local concert or even a Bills game. Along with New York City and Rochester, guests are also most likely to be from Toronto, Chicago or Philadelphia.
5. NEXT GEN:
The Queen City is attracting the next generation of guests, with millennials comprising the majority of bookers visiting Buffalo. 58 percent of bookers are between the ages of 25 and 39 and 14 percent of bookers are between the ages of 18-24. Attracting young visitors can be helpful to businesses and industries looking to attract new talent and tap into new customer bases.
Building off our longstanding work with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Pegula Sports & Entertainment, Airbnb looks forward to continuing to partner with our hosts and local businesses in Buffalo, as home sharing continues to create economic opportunity all over New York State.
*All data is from Airbnb in Buffalo, from the period covering November 1, 2017 to November 1, 2018.
Disclaimer: The above commentary entails the views of the author and not necessarily the views of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.