Holiday let : London Airbnb hosts raise £23m over Christmas and New Year

Airbnb today said Londoners earned £23 million renting out rooms through the website over the festive period.

The holiday home rental giant said just over 100,000 people stayed in Airbnb properties between 22 December and today, spending £23 million collectively, or about £230 per person.

Almost a quarter — or 22 per cent — of guest arrivals were families, with Americans topping the list of nationalities, followed by the UK, France, Australia and Germany.

London academic Ariel Chen and her entrepreneur husband Taman Powell rented out their spare room in London Bridge to a guest this Christmas for about £125 per night.

The couple have been renting out the room for a number of years and are an Airbnb Plus property — one that is listed as a new premium tier of homes that have been inspected against a 100+ point checklist covering design, amenities and hospitality.

On the benefits of hosting, Ms Chen said: “I first discovered Airbnb as a guest whilst I was travelling and really enjoyed the experience, so thought I would give hosting a try.

“I got started based on the assumption that if I didn’t like it, I could always just stop, but I have found the experience really positive, so have been doing so ever since. I really enjoy and don’t think of Christmas as having a difference versus other times. One year a guest even joined us for Christmas dinner, which was lovely.”

She added: “It’s so nice meeting people who are visiting and getting to share things you like about your local area with them.

“Also, I think as Londoners you sometimes forget what a great city you live in. So it’s nice to have a stream of people who are excited to be in London visiting to help you remember. We’ve kept in touch with guests and have even had some move to the area after spending time with us.”

Other top properties include a £115-a-night one-bed property in Fulham which can sleep up to three people, and a £250 two-bed two-bath just off Upper Street in Islington.

Hadi Moussa, Airbnb’s Northern Europe manager, said: “It’s great to see so many people coming to visit London over the festive season, and that Londoners are making the most of hosting and opening up their homes over the holidays. With over 100,000 guest arrivals to the city over the period, there is ample opportunity to welcome guests and show them everything that London has to offer during this time of year.”

Visit Britain data suggests there were 17.9 million inbound visits to the UK between January and June this year, spending £10.3 billion.

An estimated 13 million Brits made an overnight trip in the UK during the Christmas and New Year period, bringing a £2.6 billion boost to the economy.

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