Airbnb supports new set of rules that enables ordinary people to share their homes

Airbnb is pleased to have taken part in discussions at the regulation reform meeting organized by the cabinet office in Japan to work towards improving the current system to accommodate home sharing in Japan.

Japan is one of Airbnb’s fastest growing markets, and our economic impact study (EIS), conducted for the first time last year, showed the service made a total impact of JPY 221.9 billion. By opening up their homes, they are also opening up the world to people who might not otherwise be able to see it: 69 percent of Airbnb guests in Japan are repeat visitors, and 79 percent said that their experience made them even more likely to come to Japan again. 90 of guests who visited Japan were reviewed with 5 stars, which shows how our users are respectful guests.

Airbnb hosts have attracted fast-growing inbound guests to Japan. The average host is 37 years old, with a large percentage working in art, design or creative services. Airbnb hosts in Japan are also highly educated—70 percent of hosts hold a college, university, graduate degree or higher. Airbnb hosts come from diverse income brackets. The percentage of super hosts in Japan is 13%, which is far higher than the world average with 6.5% showed how our hosts are offering high quality of omotenashi.

Hosts who rent out the homes they live in are not operating commercial enterprises. Rather, the supplemental income they earn helps them to afford increasing costs of living, invest more in their homes, pursue new careers, pay off loans, and fund their retirements. In fact, our economic impact study tells us that Airbnb helps many Japan residents pay for regular living expenses and plan for the future. The typical Airbnb host in Japan earns ¥957,000 per year, renting out space in her home about 10 nights per month. This income has helped almost half of hosts, 40 percent, stay in their homes.

Last fall we announced our Community Compact, which is a series of commitments to cities where our community has a significant presence and where there is support for the right of people to share homes, both when they are present and when they are out of town. Our aim is to make cities stronger through home sharing. The commitments are 1) to treat every city personally and help ensure our Community pays its fair share of hotel and tourist taxes, 2) to build an open and transparent community by sharing the information cities need to make informed decisions around home sharing, and 3) to promote responsible home sharing to make cities stronger.

For Japan, we would like to pay the accommodation tax on behalf of our community in Tokyo. We are also planning to start offering a new feature on our website that will enable neighbors to register a complaint directly to our customer service team for follow up. We will have more details when we formally launch the product in the coming weeks.

Many cities and countries around the world have adopted the new set of rules that enables ordinary people to share their homes. Home sharing is the new type of activity and the cities and countries continue to improve the rules for the better ecosystem for home sharing. Establishing fair, progressive regulations requires the full cooperation of all parties concerned, and we are looking forward to further constructive negotiations with the Japanese authorities.