Airbnb Says It’s Helping the Restaurant Industry Worldwide

October 20, 2016, 2:00 PM UTC
TO GO WITH AFP STORY by ELOI ROUYER A woman browses the site of US home sharing giant Airbnb on a tablet in Berlin on April 28, 2016. Berlin will from Sunday, May 1, 2016, restrict private property rentals through Airbnb and similar online platforms, threatening hefty fines in a controversial move meant to keep housing affordable for locals. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
John MacDougall — AFP/Getty Images

As Airbnb continues to fight regulatory hurdles in cities like San Francisco and New York, it’s hoping to find an ally in local restaurants.

On Thursday, the home-sharing company released a new report it has compiled that concludes Airbnb generated $4.5 billion in revenue for restaurants in 36 markets around the world in the past year. Airbnb estimates that guests have spent $1.5 billion of that in major cities in the U.S., with an average of $50 to $90 per guest per night in restaurants.

In the U.S., New York City earned the top spot with $470 million in guest spending in restaurants, followed by Los Angeles with $236 million. Abroad, London restaurants earned an estimated $561 million from Airbnb guests, followed by Paris with $430 million and Tokyo with $329 million.

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Airbnb’s argument is that its service helps generate restaurant patronage that wouldn’t otherwise happen. Airbnb says that 74% of its listings are located outside of traditional hotel districts, and that 42% of guests’ spending is in the neighborhood where they’re staying. The company also claims that 56% of guests who saved money by booking a room on Airbnb instead of a hotel spend more on food and shopping during their visit.

Of course, these are all estimates, so there’s no certain way to know how these guests would behave if they weren’t staying in an Airbnb listing.

In its report, the company also touted a new feature it recently debuted: Guidebooks. As its name suggests, it lets hosts on Airbnb recommend local restaurants, shops, and other points of interest. Guests can consult those guides as part of their trip planning. To date, Airbnb says that 200,000 businesses, including 90,000 restaurants have been added to those guides, which are available for 40 cities around the world. Next month, Airbnb is expected to unveil travel packages that will let guests book activities, in addition to a place to stay.

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