PINE BELT (WDAM) - Approximately 89,000 guests stayed in Mississippi homes through Airbnb last year, and the number is rapidly growing, according to Airbnb.
In 2018, over 2,000 guests booked a Forrest County Airbnb. According to Airbnb’s records, Forrest County also brought in a pretty penny, $178,000 in total host income.
Jones County collected $187,000 and brought in 2,400 guests to the Pine Belt area. Currently, Jones County has at least 15 homeowners that are currently a host for travelers through Mississippi.
Harry Golff is a homeowner and lives in the Pine Belt. His Lazy Leaf River Estate in Jones County sits on over four acres of land and can hold up to 10 people for a minimum of two nights. Harry works as an Airbnb host as a part time job since he retired recently. His estate and his host rating is rated the most wish-listed Airbnb in the Hattiesburg area.
“Its a neat design with a deck running the full length, I think it’s just a nice secluded area where most people just want to get away," Goff said.
According to Airbnb, Mississippi Airbnb hosts earned $10.6 million in supplemental income in 2018. Airbnb projected that in 2018, Mississippi hosts who shared their homes via Airbnb typically earned about $3,700 annually in supplemental income.
Airbnb told WDAM that in addition to new income going into the pockets of Mississippi homeowners, the state is generating new revenue.
“A tax agreement between Airbnb and the Mississippi Department of Revenue that allows the company to collect the state sales tax and local tourism taxes on behalf of its local hosts and remit the revenue directly to the state,” Airbnb said in a press release.
The Jones County Tourism Office released the following statement to WDAM:
“Jones County and Laurel are reaching more people across the country now, and we are fortunate to have a variety of ways to accommodate the increase in visitors and their evolving travel needs. In addition to our hotels and traditional B&Bs, this includes Airbnb’s that can offer unique experiences and amenities that are attractive to a new set of travelers.”
You can check out other popular Airbnb spots in the Pine Belt by visiting their website or downloading the Airbnb app.