Aiken County Airbnb hosts collectively earned more than $1M last year, company says

January 11, 2019

Aiken County Airbnb hosts earned a total $1.3 million in 2018, according to data recently released by the rental and hospitality company.

Aiken County hosts welcomed approximately 6,800 guests last year, according to the same information.

Overall, the county ranked No. 8 in the state in terms of total host income. Charleston County, locking in nearly $55 million, was No. 1. Nearby Lexington County was No. 9.

Airbnb hosts across the state – 8,500-plus people – collectively earned $111 million in 2018, according to the company.

Airbnb, acting as a broker, allows people to rent their homes or property to those interested in staying there. Airbnb was established in 2008.

A quick “Aiken” search on Airbnb brings up dozens of homes, some of which are cottages, some of which are in the downtown area and some of which offer access to horses.

Airbnb often pitches the person-to-person lodging and tourism service as a way to supplement one’s income. The typical South Carolina Airbnb host makes about $7,500 a year, according to the company’s data.

Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said the Airbnb spending throughout the county is a good thing.

“It really has become a destination spot,” the mayor said of Aiken, referencing its recent best-small-town award from Southern Living magazine.

“I hope we’ll crack the top five next year,” Osbon later said.

Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker described the million-dollar spending figure as a definite “win” for the county and its tourism industry. Bunker said it proves there’s a viable market here.

Osbon said Aiken is a popular spot for both short-term and long-term stays because of what’s on offer: equestrian events with national appeal, downtown festivals and the nearby Masters, for example. Bunker’s comments echoed those of the mayor’s

Augusta National Golf Club is a 30-minute drive west of Aiken.

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