Survey Highlights Wealth of Airbnb Users

Holidaymakers who use Airbnb, a website for people to list, find, and rent lodging, are wealthier than non-Airbnb users, according to a survey by Morgan Stanley.

Airbnb is generally seen as a lower-cost option to hotels. However, in a 4,000-person survey analysts found that approximately 66 percent of respondents earned more than $75,000 a year.

“This, in our view, contradicts the popular belief that Airbnb users are largely college students/millennials and individuals with lower incomes,” the note says.

As price is so important, and yet the holidaymakers are skewing to the wealthier class, the analysts say demand for Airbnb should increase.

With more than  a hundred listings in Limerick City and county, it is evident that Airbnb has taken off. Hosts have opened their doors for many reasons, the main one being the opportunity to generate a source, or additional source, of income.

Sonia Purcell, 37, ran a ski chalet in Meribel, France, as a student. She now owns a sympathetically and beautifully restored thatched cottage in Knocklong, Co. Limerick. It is complete with modern features that work around the mud walls’ natural curves, including a resident cheeky cat and serious lack of lumpy mattresses.

Purcell said she was naturally drawn to Airbnb.  “I really enjoy meeting people from different places and as I am the custodian of a unique property it is only right to share it with those who have genuine interest. To date, all my guests have been fantastic, interesting and well-travelled people.”

Her welcome mat has been crossed my many from all corners of the globe. Guests from America, Australia, Shanghai, Germany and the UK have all experienced Sonia’s traditional Irish hospitality. Limerick’s great location allows tourists to visit attractions such as the Cliffsof Moher and the Ring of Kerry comfortably in a day.

Airbnb has proven to be extremely successful for Sonia, so much so that she is unable to accommodate all of the requests she receives. In order to create extra space, she is currently converting her courtyard.

“Airbnb is fun, it’s interesting and really great like-minded people visit. It’s not just a cash transaction it’s an amazing opportunity to meet intriguing and extraordinary people who are truly interested in your home or area.”

According to newcomer, Anne Marie Egan, “Airbnb has a fantastic website, it is very simple to register, upload and get things started.”

Anne Marie is a 34-year-old mother of four young children. She and her husband, Ger, decided to open their newly built ‘granny flat’ style house to visitors in late October of this year. The guest house is situated beside their home on a working dairy farm, at the foot of the Ballyhoura Mountains in Effin, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick.

Anne Marie hopes to “give guided tours and allow guests to visit the milking parlour. They can enjoy the scenery of the Awbeg River and the Ballyhoura Mountains, perfect for walking and mountain biking.”

“I’ve never ran a B&B before so it’s all very new. We’re looking forward to receiving enquiries.”

Limerick’s bustling city, rich in quirky bars, award winding restaurants and historical sites, accompanied by its vast and charming countryside, is irresistible to tourists. Many others like Sonia and Anne Marie have realised the potential their own home holds, especially with many wishing to get a glimpse into Irish living.

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