Home » Airbnb guests to infuse $3.5M impact for Louisville during Kentucky Derby

Airbnb guests to infuse $3.5M impact for Louisville during Kentucky Derby


LOUISVILLE – Airbnb announced today that the Airbnb community will generate over $3.5 million in economic activity for Louisville Metro during the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

During Derby weekend (May 4-6), Louisville will welcome over 4,500 guests through the Airbnb home sharing platform. Louisville’s Airbnb host community will earn approximately $2 million in supplemental income over this stretch. Based on the daily rate at which Airbnb visitors to Louisville typically spend their disposable income with neighborhood merchants and restaurants, Airbnb conservatively projects that guests will contribute an additional $1.5 million to the Louisville economy (not taking into account potential extra spending in connection with such a major event).

This economic infusion comes as Louisville hotels largely sell out for Derby weekend, reaching well over 90% occupancy.

The growth of home sharing in Louisville is allowing the city to utilize pre-existing resources — people’s homes — to expand lodging capacity and retain as many visitors as possible.

Additionally, over 85% of Louisville’s Airbnb listings are located in neighborhoods that lack any hotels, therefore routing Derby travelers to communities
that do not typically benefit from tourist economic activity. One of those neighborhoods is South Louisville — home to Churchill Downs  — where 45 Airbnb guests will be staying this weekend within walking distance of the racetrack.

The 4,500 guest arrivals represent by far the largest historical surge in Airbnb travelers to Louisville and a 30% spike over last year’s Derby.

“Home sharing is allowing Louisville to substantially expand lodging capacity and take full economic advantage of the Derby,” said Laura Spanjian, Airbnb Midwest Policy Director. “Our host community is stepping up in a big way to serve as ambassadors for their city as the eyes of the sporting world turn to Louisville.”

Overall Louisville Airbnb Growth
• 1,500 Louisville hosts, up from 600 in January 2015
• 43,000 Airbnb guest arrivals in 2016, reflecting 110% year over year growth
• $3,700 in supplemental income per year for the typical Louisville host
• Louisville hosts earned a combined $6.2 million in supplemental income in 2016

Top origin states for Airbnb guests during Kentucky Derby
• Illinois
• California
• New York
• Michigan
• Pennsylvania

About Airbnb
Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.