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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 sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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