From rackets to revenues: How home-sharing impacts the economy

Cover art Erka Inciong

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Digital Reporter

Home-sharing has become an automatic option for most travelers when it comes to finding accommodations. With access to a wide and varied catalogue of residences, customers can customize the accommodation to their needs, whether it’s a two-day staycation or month-long family trip.

But home-sharing services offer more than lodging for tourists. In their newly-launched book “At Home Around the World: The Short-Term Rentals Handbook for Guests, Hosts, Neighbors and Governments”, Robert Rosenstein and Peter Allen explore how the industry has positively impacted economies on both the micro- and macro-levels.

Boosting incomes and economies

One of home-sharing’s most immediate effects is how it’s opened financial opportunities for locals. By renting out their private properties, hosts are able to generate income on an asset that otherwise would have been monetarily stagnant. And since more accommodations are emerging due to this incentive, tourism also begins to boom.

“Local host rentals augment supply during peak events, helping municipalities not only manage tourism surges, but also by channeling more resources to the local economy,” said Allen, managing director of Agoda Outside. “And we also have reports showing guests stay anywhere from 25 to 50 percent longer in a home-share as compared to hotels, which of course has incremental benefits to the local economy.”

Aside from the hosts, cleaning and security services as well as payment and marketing platforms have also flourished with this industry.

Globally, these benefits are already being felt. According to a 2017 Skift report, home-sharing is expected to hit $169 billion in total global revenue by the end of the year.

What’s to come

Of course, the industry was met its fair share of challenges. According to Rosenstein, founder and chairman of Agoda Company Pte. Ltd., governments are still struggling with how to integrate home-sharing in legislation, which includes licensing and registration requirements and taxation.

On a local scale, government officials in Davao have been calling for tighter legislation on home-sharing operations within the city.

But with an annual growth rate of 30 percent, and an estimated $2 billion in local global tax revenue for the next 10 years, it seems that home-sharing will be catering to the global traveler’s lifestyle for decades to come.