Airbnb hosts see increase in guests during Tennessee graduation ceremonies

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Many friends and families of college students across Tennessee stayed in Airbnb rentals during graduation weekends.

Airbnb released data showing the economic impact of commencement ceremonies throughout the state. Many hotels sold out of space leading to an increase in Airbnb reservations.

“Home sharing provides significant economic value by expanding lodging capacity during commencement weekends for Tennessee communities that are home to large universities,” said Laura Spanjian, Airbnb midwest policy director. “Most of us can relate to having to book hotels 1-2 years in advance of college graduations. We’re very encouraged to see how our platform has been utilized to provide affordable lodging accommodations for college families during stretches when hotels traditionally reach peak occupancy.”

Related: Knoxville leaders considering loosening rules to welcome Airbnb

During the University of Tennessee graduation ceremonies from May 11 to May 13, 695 guests stayed in Airbnb rentals. That was a 36 percent increase from the earlier week. Three hundred and thirty hosts made a combined income of $91,000.

East Tennessee State University’s ceremonies increased the rental rate by 124 percent from the earlier week. Hosts accommodated 65 guests and made a combined income of $10,000.

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