Millions of workers and their families are embracing the opportunity to live and work anywhere, allowing them to spread out to thousands of towns and cities, and staying for weeks, months, or even longer. This has created significant opportunities for rural communities, allowing many to directly benefit from the tourism economy by hosting on Airbnb.
In 2022, over 13,000 Hosts in 78 counties disunited as rural counties across North Carolina collectively earned a total of more than $370 million, more than a 350% increase compared to pre-pandemic travel in 2019.
Swain County Hosts collected $16,271,000 last year, ranking in the Top 5 highest earning rural counties in North Carolina. Macon County Hosts collected $11,757,000 and Jackson County collected $11,164,000, both ranking in the Top 10 highest earning rural counties in the state.
New Hosts in rural North Carolina collectively earned over $5 million in 2022. The typical Host in rural North Carolina earned over $14,000 in 2022. Nearly 35% of Hosts who have reported their gender in rural North Carolina are women. Across the US, women Hosts earned more than $7 billion in 2022. Nearly 30% of Airbnb Hosts in rural North Carolina have reported that they are over the age of 60.
“We have also partnered with Visit North Carolina for the Dream Big in Small Town NC campaign,” AirBnB said in a release. “The campaign, funded by the General Assembly as part of North Carolina’s Rural Tourism Recovery Pilot Program, is led by Visit North Carolina and Airbnb, in coordination with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, to support the state’s post-pandemic recovery and the many unique local shops, restaurants and communities who rely on the local tourism industry. The collaborative campaign aims to promote travel to 16 rural counties in three distinct regions designated as the Scenic Mountains, the Northeast Lakes & Rivers, and the Inner Banks.”
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