Delaware Public Media

Sussex County drives big year for Airbnb in Delaware

Jan 14, 2019

The community-driven lodging app Airbnb continues to grow in popularity across the country and in the First State.

Airbnb hosts in Delaware made $13.5 million and welcomed 74,400 guests in 2018. The average host made about $10,300 in supplemental income.

Airbnb regional spokeswoman Liz DeBold Fusco says those numbers are up from 2017. She says the summer beach season and special events are the driving force of the Airbnb market in Delaware.

“College commencements are typically a big boost, summer trips are a big boost, also the holiday season,” said Fusco. “Thanksgiving weekend this year was actually our biggest Thanksgiving weekend ever.”

Sussex County accounted for the vast majority of Delaware’s Airbnb traffic last year with more than 60,000 guests generating $11.7 million in host income. More than $4.2 million was made in Delaware’s beach communities during the summer months alone.

New Castle County brought in $1.6 million in 2018 and Kent just under $300,000.

Fusco points out the app has indirectly benefited Delaware’s small businesses as well.

“One thing that we do know is that 95% of our hosts recommend small businesses to our guests,” said Fusco. “So the impact of these numbers for small businesses on main streets is, again, not measurable but undoubtedly significant.”

Delaware’s Airbnb market is comparable per-capita among regional states.