1. Business

More than 4.5 million visitors used Airbnb to stay in Florida last year, app says

Tampa Bay area users made nearly $113 million total by renting their homes or rooms out on Aribnb.
Published Jan. 15

About 4.5 million people used Airbnb to stay in Florida over 2018, the room and home rental platform announced on Tuesday.

The state's roughly 45,000 hosts pulled in a combined $810 million, according to Airbnb. Tampa Bay area hosts made nearly $113 million total, taking Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties together.

About 954,000 people visiting Miami-Dade County used Airbnb, making it the app's hottest spot in Florida. Pinellas County came in fourth, with hosts there making a total of $44.3 million offering short-term rentals to 232,000 visitors. Hillsborough hosts made about half that at $20.5 million total. Pasco and Hernando hosts made $2.8 million and $1.2 million, respectively.

"This comes as Floridian homeowners increasingly embrace the home sharing and vacation rental platform as an opportunity to earn supplemental income and make ends meet," Airbnb wrote in a statement. "Yet, statewide data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the Florida hotel industry."

Hotel numbers have continued to rise, bringing record-breaking bed tax dollars to both Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Airbnb also charges visitors the tourism tax for overnight stays, but the bulk of the millions raised through the tax comes from hotels.

Airbnb is expected to release the amount of bed tax money it will remit to Florida counties by next month.

Contact Sara DiNatale at Follow @sara_dinatale.


  1. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  2. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  3. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  4. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.
    A frustrated business card user learns that his on-time payments don’t boost his personal credit score.
  6. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  7. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  8. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  9. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  10. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.