Householders invited by Airbnb to open homes to tourists

Airbnb is looking for more households here to consider throwing open their doors to tourists.

Householders invited by Airbnb to open homes to tourists

The company said that the number of hosts here has doubled every year since 2009, with those offering the service earning around €2,600 every year.

Over that time, more than 419,000 guests have used the service when visiting Ireland and 11,000 households have already signed up around the country.

Now, Airbnb has launched a range of initiatives to encourage more people to offer the service to tourists. This weekend will see the largest -ever gathering of existing Irish hosts for ‘Airbnb Oscailte’, designed to connect hosts to each other to share insights and tips.

The company is also launching a host perks programme, featuring discounts from companies on products and services. These include valet and laundry services such as Sproose and Whitewash; furniture and design pieces such as JamArt Factory and CA Design; food providers; and discounts with other sharing economy companies such as GoCar and HouseMyDog.

Airbnb is also to launch a new partnership with Taxback to help Airbnb hosts file their tax returns in Ireland and pay income tax on the money they earn from sharing their space.

The company has been in discussions with the Government about creating a new tax-free threshold which would allow hosts to keep more of the income they earn by offering accommodation.

Last year, Revenue amendments to the ‘Rent-a-Room’ tax relief meant that people offering accommodation on Airbnb are liable for tax on that income.

Dublin is the most popular destination for Airbnb guests coming to Ireland, with the capital hosting more than 240,000 guests to the country within the past year.

Airbnb has pointed out to potential hosts that the summer period is one of the most opportune times to open doors to tourists seeking accommodation, as thousands of rooms lie empty as children head off to the Gaeltacht; students jet off on J1s in the US; and families take holidays.

Global head of customer experience at Airbnb, Aisling Hassell, said: “Airbnb guests are looking for authentic experiences and love to see destinations through a local lens. Ireland is renowned worldwide for its hospitality and some of the most inspiring and successful Airbnb hosts in the world are based here.

“With ongoing growth across the sharing economy, Airbnb is a simple way for Irish people to generate extra income, and showcase their hospitality to an audience of millions.”

Ms Halligan said people wishing to host could have bookings within days as the process of setting up was straightforward.

“The average Irish host earns €2,600 a year, which can go a long way to paying for a summer holiday and make a difference to family finances,” she said.

“Setting up as a host only takes a few minutes and new hosts could have their first booking within days.”

Cuba sleeper hit

Airbnb was the first major US company to enter Cuba after US president Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro met last December.

It has become its fastest-growing market, with 4,000 homes since added.

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