Gone Country

Cowboys Are Raking in the Airbnb Dough

Rural Texans bring in an astounding supplemental income from short-term rentals.

By Gwendolyn Knapp September 20, 2018

Maybe it’s time to move to the country and become an alpaca farmer after all. Turns out rural Texans took in $20.6 million in supplemental income over the last year from Airbnb rentals. That’s 169,000 guests and a growth rate of 93 percent over the previous year, nearly double the growth rate happening in our urban counties, and this data doesn't even count Airbnb hosts who live in rural areas of urban counties.

Airbnb compiled the data by looking at our state’s 177 rural counties (in the green, yo).

Overall, the state seems to be having a hotel boom with a third-party economic study conducted for the Governor's office recently reporting record rates of hotel development, total hotel rooms available, hotel room nights sold, hotel occupancy rate, and hotel room revenue in Texas. But the majority of this boom is happening in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, meaning outlying counties have fewer hotel options. And thus, the Airbnb boom has hit rural Texas.

Airbnb recently launched an Office of Healthy Tourism, with a mission to support tourism in Texas.  In April 2017, it announced a tax agreement with the Texas Comptroller’s Office, authorizing the home sharing platform to automatically collect the 6 percent state hotel occupancy tax on behalf of its host community and remit the revenue directly to the state. And last July, Airbnb announced that it delivered $15.3 million in home sharing and short-term rental tax revenue on behalf of its Texas hosts in the first year of the agreement, nearly doubling initial projections. 

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