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SALT LAKE CITY — Airbnb's growth in Utah climbed to a new record in 2019, according to company figures released this week
Airbnb rentals generated a record $129.8 million for homeowners in the state, the company reported Wednesday. In addition, it reported that Airbnb homes in Utah drew in more than 1 million visitors throughout the year. It’s the first time Airbnb has crossed the million-visitor plateau during a year in Utah.
Salt Lake, Summit, Washington, Utah and Grand counties led the state guest arrivals, the home-sharing company added.
In addition to the growing number of visitors, the amount generated for homeowners rose nearly 33% from 2018, when the company reported $97.6 million was generated for Utah homeowners.
The company previously reported that it had crossed the $2 billion marker in local taxes paid across the globe.
Utah’s numbers were fueled in part by strong holiday weekends. For example, about $23.6 million from the nearly $130 million generated came from the top five weekends of the year:
- Dec. 27-29 (Christmas/New Year’s): 26,600 guests; $9.1 million generated
- July 5-7 (Independence Day): 22,500 guests; $3.8 million generated
- July 19-21 (Pioneer Day): 22,400 guests; $4.1 million generated
- Aug. 30-Sept. 1 (Labor Day): 21,200 guests; $3.2 million generated
- July 26-28 (Pioneer Day): 21,100 guests; $3.4 million generated
“Our host community meets the demand for accommodations during some of the busiest tourism weekends and helps support small businesses and communities in every corner of the state,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb’s senior policy manager, said in a statement.
Airbnb’s growth in Utah comes as tourism continues to grow in the state. State officials are still calculating tourism from 2019. However, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah reported in November that tourism generated a record $9.75 billion for Utah in 2018.
The counties that led in transient room tax revenue — the revenue generated from lodging — in 2018 matched the leading Airbnb-leading counties in the state, according to the report.
After that report was released, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism Vicki Varela said she was pleased with the state of Utah’s tourism economy.
“Our primary focus at the Office of Tourism is building up a quality and sustainable tourism economy. That means we are looking for the right visitors who will get off the beaten path, have an adventuresome spirit and be able to discover the places in Utah that want to build out their tourist economy,” she said at the time. “This report tells us that we are generally on track with the strategy.”