OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Airbnb released data today demonstrating the home sharing platform’s unique ability to help Omaha take full economic advantage of hosting the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.
Over the college basketball games, Omaha Airbnb hosts are projected to help the city expand lodging capacity by welcoming 650 guests, earning over $50,000 in combined supplemental income in the process.
The #1 seeded Jayhawks appear to be attracting fans to Omaha, as Kansans represent the largest influx of Airbnb guests to the city this weekend.
With local hotels experiencing limited vacancies for the tournament, the Omaha home sharing community is allowing the city to host hundreds of extra visitors and take full advantage of the unique economic opportunity presented by the tournament. This expanded lodging capacity is allowing the city to quickly scale lodging inventory, particularly with fans of the teams not knowing the location of the games until this past Sunday and making last minute travel decisions. The expanded lodging capacity also benefits the local merchant community by keeping visitors’ food and shopping dollars within the city’s corporate limits.
At a broader level, recent data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing -- rather than competing with -- the Omaha hotel industry. Reports from the Hotel News Now demonstrate that hotel occupancy rates in the greater Omaha area have risen in parallel to Airbnb’s growth. This indicates that Airbnb is opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.