By CYNTHIA McCLOUD
The State Journal
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians who rented out a room, apartment, or house using the Airbnb website, earned a combined $2.9 million in supplemental income in 2016, according to the company.
Those 500 registered hosts welcomed 27,000 guests last year. The number of people renting out their property to travelers is up 66 percent while the number of guest visits has seen a 178 percent year-over-year increase, according to Airbnb.
The City of Davis, close to Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley state parks, saw the most traffic, with 3,600 guest arrivals in 2016 earning hosts $343,000. Davis is a destination for outdoors enthusiasts who like mountain biking, skiing, whitewater rafting and Civil War history.
The company said a typical host earns $4,600 a year from the home-sharing arrangements. Forty-seven percent of people who host in West Virginia are over the age of 50, and 59 percent of all hosts are women.
According to a press release from Airbnb hosts often use the extra money to pay mortgage and bills and supplement fixed, retirement incomes.
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