Data is precious, but accurate data straight from the source is trustworthy and actionable.
Airbnb, Booking.com, and Expedia Group have agreed to share data with the UK’s Office for National Statistics by spring 2024.
The platforms will share aggregated and anonymized information on the number of guests and nights booked. The data will be shared quarterly and the goal is to help regulars establish the right policies for short-term rentals. The data will also help authorities learn more about their local economies, labor force and housing issues.
Merilee Karr, chairperson of the board at UK Short-Term Accommodation Association, thinks platforms sharing their data is a big step towards transparency and imperative for research.
“When we talk to the online travel agencies (OTAs), about doing research, and publishing that research, they will not give their data to anyone,” Karr said. “So the reason why the OTAs signed up to this agreement, and why they’re providing this data to government is because it’s very specific datasets, they’re going to be in control of the quality of it, and therefore it will get published by governments, but they’re happy that it’s going to be accurate data.”
Airbnb already shares local data, trends and travel insights through its Airbnb City Portal in partnership with Visit Britain, as well as authorities and tourism organizations in the UK including Brighton, Cornwall, Devon, Cumbria and Wales.
“At Airbnb we want to help strengthen communities, support tourism, and boost income of local families,” Amanda Cupples, Northern Europe General Manager at Airbnb said in a statement. “This data will be a vital resource for authorities at all levels to better understand short-term letting activity in their communities, and capture the positive benefits of tourism.”