Each May, the music industry descends on Memphis for the Beale Street Music Festival. This year will be no different, with major acts like Kings of Leon and Snoop Dogg headlining.
The festival’s increasing popularity and Memphis’ burgeoning brand mark exciting trends, but they also bring challenges. Namely, how best to take full economic advantage of the thousands of travelers who want to experience Memphis, particularly when hotels reach an astounding 88 percent according to a report from Memphis in May).
Recently, the city has expanded lodging capacity and hosted more visitors by utilizing existing resources — the homes of everyday Memphis residents. 300 Memphians share their homes through Airbnb, the online short-term rental platform. Thanks to the local home sharing community, an additional 1,700 guests will be able to come to Memphis and attend the festival. Those short-term rental “hosts” will earn $240,000 in supplemental income this weekend, while those additional guests are expected to spend in excess of $714,000 with local Memphis merchants. That’s a $1 million economic impact for the community.
Importantly, the overwhelming majority of Memphis Airbnb hosts are middle-class people who share the home in which they live. Almost 50 percent simply share an extra, unused room […]