Economic Impact Report
San Francisco

Last year, our community was responsible for more than $338 million in economic activity in San Francisco. With more than 72% of our 5000+ San Francisco hosts living and hosting outside the main hotel districts, they are already connecting visitors from across the globe to more of the city’s diverse neighborhoods and businesses in meaningful ways.

HIGH­LEVEL IMPACTS

  • According to the recent Airbnb survey, in the past year (June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015), 300,228 guests came to visit San Francisco by booking their lodging through Airbnb. These guests spent $338 million of which $105 million was for lodging with Airbnb hosts and the remaining $233 million was for all other expenditures.
  • Airbnb guests generated $5.5 million in sales tax revenue, in addition to the more than $12 million in hotel taxes remitted on an annual basis

NEIGHBORHOOD SPENDING IMPACTS
According to surveys, on average 37 percent of Airbnb guests’ non­accommodation spending was within the neighborhood of their lodging. This indicates that the spending by Airbnb guests is distributed much more broadly in San Francisco than spending by hotel guests (see Table 1). As a consequence, Airbnb generates income for households and sales for retail establishments that were not traditional tourist destinations. Many of these neighborhoods have high concentrations of low income and minority households.

  • Bayview: Over the past year, 3,700 Airbnb guests spent $700,000 with 48 different hosts in the Bayview and an estimated additional $1 million in local stores and restaurants.
  • Inner and Outer Sunset District: Over this past year, Airbnb guests spent $4 million in 200 host households in the Sunset and an additional $4.4 million in local shops and restaurants.
  • Richmond District: Some 15,400 Airbnb guests spent just over $4 million in rent in 228 host households and at least another $4.4 million in local commercial establishments.
  • Western Addition and NOPA: Airbnb guests generated $6.4 million in income for Western Addition and NOPA host households, and $5.6 million in sales for local shops and restaurants over this past year.
  • Mission District: Over this past year, Airbnb guests generated $15 million in rental income for mostly middle­income host households in the Mission. Local restaurants and shops no doubt benefited from the estimated $12 million in local spending by Airbnb guests.
  • The Castro: Over the past 12 months, some 15,000 Airbnb guests spent nearly $6 million in rent with 228 hosts in the Castro. In addition, they spent another $4 million in local restaurants, bars and.

AIRBNB SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
Airbnb surveyed its guests visiting San Francisco and its hosts offering accommodations in San Francisco covering one year of transaction history from June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015. During the approximately two­week survey window, 285 hosts and 518 guests responded to the survey. Using data provided by Airbnb, the following are some highlights of the two surveys: Guest Survey

  • 36 percent of the Airbnb guests indicated that it was their first visit to San Francisco.
  • 68 percent indicated that Airbnb made them more likely to return to San Francisco.
  • The guests had three key reasons for selecting Airbnb over other forms of accommodation in addition to cost advantage: 1) Desire to explore a specific neighborhood – 81 percent, 2) Location was more convenient than hotels – 85 percent, and 3) Wanted more amenities than hotels offered like kitchen and multiple bedrooms – 77 percent.
  • Had Airbnb not been available, 14 percent of the guests would have either stayed with friends or family or stayed outside of San Francisco. Some of their spending impact would have been lost to San Francisco.
  • Had Airbnb not been available, 31 percent of the guests would either not have come or would not have stayed as long. Their spending impact in San Francisco would have considerably been lower.
  • Guest are using Airbnb more to visit friends and family, with the percentage growing from 15 percent in 2012 to 20 percent in 2015. Guests are also using Airbnb more for business purposes (business, conventions, group meetings & job interview), with that percentage up from 18 percent in 2012 to 22 percent in 2015.
  • 62 percent of the guests indicated that they saved money using Airbnb but spent the savings on food, shopping, etc.
  • Airbnb guests indicated that 37 percent of their non­accommodation spending was within the neighborhood of their lodging. This indicates that the spending by Airbnb guests is distributed much more broadly in San Francisco than spending by hotel guests. Host Survey
  • In 2015, 93 percent of the respondents indicated that their Airbnb rental was their primary residence or an in­law unit in their primary residence. In 2012, the percentage indicating primary residence was 81 percent. As rents have moved up in San Francisco, fewer tenants have the ability to carry excess space for short­term rentals.
  • Reflecting the increasing housing cost pressure in San Francisco, the hosts in 2015 indicated that they used 60 percent of their Airbnb income to cover rent, mortgage or other regular household bills. The hosts in 2012 used only 47 percent of their Airbnb income for such purposes.
  • When asked if Airbnb has helped them stay in their homes, 75 percent responded in the affirmative. As the middle class is increasingly being priced out of San Francisco, Airbnb helps its host households stay in the city of their choice.
  • 41 percent indicated that Airbnb helped them have a more flexible work schedule that included: 1) Support while freelancing, 2) Work part­time to allow time for other pursuits, and 3) Support while launching a new business.
  • 23 percent of the hosts indicated that Airbnb income helped them start a new business.

METHODOLOGY
Airbnb surveyed its guests visiting San Francisco and its hosts offering accommodations in San Francisco covering one year of transaction history from June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015. During the approximately two­week survey window, 285 hosts and 518 guests responded to the survey. The retail spending by Airbnb guests and the additional host spending due to income earned from guests generate sales tax revenue. After adjusting for the fact that two­third of grocery store sales are not taxable and for the survey respondents included sales tax in their estimate of retail spending (rather than have that counted as additional to their retail spending), Airbnb guests generated $5.5 million in sales tax revenue (see Table 2). San Francisco’s sales tax rate is 8.75 percent with 1.25 percent going to San Francisco County and 7.5 percent going to the State of California.