CHARLESTON, WV — Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, announced today that its West Virginia host community earned a combined $10 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 90,000 guest arrivals to the state in 2018.
This comes as West Virginians increasingly embrace the home sharing platform as an opportunity to earn supplemental income and make ends meet. There are now over 900 West Virginia hosts who share their homes via Airbnb, typically earning about $7,300 annually in supplemental income.
Yet, statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the West Virginia hotel industry. The most recent report from the West Virginia Tourism Office indicates that WV hotels experienced dynamic growth in occupancy, nights sold and overall revenue even as local hosts welcomed tens 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.
The home sharing community provides significant value through expanded lodging capacity for West Virginia communities when hotels sell out during big events. These include Morgantown during college football weekends, the Snowshoe region during ski season, and Charleston during the legislative session.
Airbnb also introduced Experiences to West Virginia in 2018, offering handcrafted activities led by local experts in cities like Berkeley Springs and Green Spring. Airbnb Experiences is creating new economic opportunities for West Virginia 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 are expected to expand further in West Virginia in 2019, and the Experiences currently available can be found here.
Airbnb recently announced the #1 most wish-listed (i.e. popular/desired) Airbnb homes in the top 20 home sharing cities in West Virginia.
What follows is an overview of 2018 guest arrivals and total host income, broken down by the top 15 counties.
County 2018 Total Host Income 2018 Total Guest Arrivals
Pocahontas $1.7 million 11,000
Jefferson $1.4 million 13,000
Tucker $1.1 million 10,000
Morgan $1 million 9,000
Fayette $725,000 6,300
Monongalia $479,000 4,800
Kanawha $457,000 4,900
Greenbrier $448,000 4,000
Berkeley $339,000 3,300
Randolph $274,000 2,700
Preston $239,000 2,300
Hardy $223,000 1,700
Cabell $206,000 2,000
Raleigh $194,000 2,400
Mercer $119,000 1,300