Airbnb skyrocketed in 2018, with hosts earning millions of dollars across the state.
For employees at The Inn at Saint John, business was good this summer.
“We had a remarkable year,” employee Terry Morrison said. “Our tourism began early around March and ended in late November.”
However, now that tourism has slowed down, the inn is trying to adapt to a market with new competitors like Airbnb.
“We are taking a negative hit in the offseason because there’s so many options for people,” Morrison said. “It’s totally saturated.”
The online home-sharing service says in 2018, Maine hosts earned over $66 million from guests.
Airbnb and the inn say they offer a different experience, and draw different types guests.
“Airbnb, when someone owns a home and they rent out a home or room or whatever an Airbnb; it’s kind of a standoffish approach,” Morrison said.
Airbnb says there was a 53 percent increase in guests checking in during 2018.
The spots that made the most cash are York County, Hancock County and Cumberland County.
“Families across the state have been able to use Airbnb to share their home in order to make a significant amount of money,” Airbnb Press Secretary Liz DeBold Fusco said.
Airbnb specifically seeks people that are trying to immerse into a community.
“There are 425,000 guests that came in to, uh, Maine through Airbnb in 2018, um, and that’s a year that also amounts to money that was spent in local communities and small businesses,” Fusco said.
The inn says despite the competition, they are in great financial shape and looking forward to an even better 2019.
“I think that the more the city improves and market itself as a beautiful destination, then we will benefit from that,” Fusco said.