South Carolina Airbnb Hosts Earned $111M in 2018 Amid Continued Hotel Growth

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Airbnb, the world’s leading community driven hospitality company, announced that its South Carolina host community earned a combined $111 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 695,000 guest arrivals to the state in 2018.

This comes as South Carolina residents increasingly embrace the home sharing platform as an opportunity to earn supplemental income and make ends meet. There are now over 8,500 South Carolina hosts who share their homes via Airbnb, typically earning about $7,500 annually in supplemental income. The home sharing community provides significant value through expanded lodging capacity for South Carolina communities when hotels sell out during big events. These include Columbia and Clemson during college football weekends, as well as oceanfront communities during summer tourism high season.
Yet, statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing -- rather than competing with -- the South Carolina hotel industry. The most recent lodging report from the the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism demonstrates that South Carolina hotel revenues, rooms sold and overall rooms available has steadily increased even as local hosts welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests. This suggests that Airbnb is opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.
In addition to the new income going into the pockets of South Carolina Airbnb hosts, the state is generating new revenue through a tax agreement with the South Carolina Department of Revenue announced in 2016. The agreement allows Airbnb to collect and remit South Carolina state and local taxes on behalf of its hosts and deliver the revenue directly to DOR.
Airbnb also introduced Experiences throughout South Carolina in 2018, offering handcrafted activities led by local experts in cities like Charleston. Airbnb Experiences is creating new economic opportunities for South Carolina residents by allowing them to unlock their talents and interests and make money from them, catering to the hundreds of millions of people that use Airbnb’s platform to discover unique and authentic travel experiences. Experiences is expected to expand further in South Carolina in 2019.