Report: Airbnb and Economic Opportunity in Boston Neighborhoods

During the summer of 2016, Airbnb guests contributed $145 million in economic activity to Boston’s tourism industry. They also chose some of the city’s most diverse communities – Dorchester and Jamaica Plain – as the most popular places to stay.

Compared to other Boston neighborhoods, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roxbury have historically lacked in overnight travel accommodations. Fewer than eight percent of the over 100 hotels citywide operate in these communities.

While this fact has typically left local neighborhoods, residents and small businesses out of the revenue stream tourism can provide, home sharing has emerged as a viable economic solution. Airbnb hosts in Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roxbury earned $5.5 million last year from home sharing.

In our new Boston’s Majority-Minority Neighborhoods Report, Airbnb also found:

  1. Airbnb is creating an economic lifeline for thousands of middle class Bostonians who, collectively, earned more than $38 million last year sharing their space.
  2. In terms of guest arrivals, Airbnb grew 54 percent year-over-year in the study neighborhoods.
  3. In total, 30,000 people, or a fifth of all Airbnb guests to the Boston area, visited the Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and Roxbury through Airbnb between August 2015 and August 2016.

“Airbnb is introducing Dorchester to people all over the world. There’s a lot of amazing history about Dorchester that people don’t know and are slowly learning as they explore the neighborhood. Everyone I’ve hosted has been pleasantly surprised and I’m glad to contribute to the mind-shift about the area.”

– Mariah Johnson, 31, Boston Native & Dorchester Homeowner


To learn more about how home sharing has impacted these Massachusetts communities, view
the full report.