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‘Even a few hundred dollars extra in a month is really helpful,’ Airbnb reports increase in local stays

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(WKOW) -- It seems like more people in Wisconsin are opting to travel within the state amid the pandemic.

According to Airbnb, its hosts earned more money welcoming local guests in 2020 than in 2019.

In the month of June, the company reported that those hosts made more than $3.6 million from guests that live within 300 miles.

"A unique private home is a really safe alternative in this time period that we're in," said Airbnb's policy director Alex Dagg.

Airbnb says profits for local hosts in northern Wisconsin went up 79 percent and profits in the Wisconsin Dells went up nearly 50 percent.

Across the country, hosts in rural areas made over $200 million in June, which is an increase of more than 25 percent over what hosts earned last June.

 "People are choosing these rural areas and northern Wisconsin and parts of Wisconsin are so beautiful," said Dagg. "People living in this state should experience their own state this during this time period. It's really great to see this happening."

Dagg said hosting might also be a way for some families to stay afloat during a pandemic that has hit many people hard financially.

"Being able to earn even a few hundred dollars a month is really helpful in these challenging times," said Dagg. "It's American families supporting other American families."

When it comes to safety, Dagg said Airbnb has introduced an enhanced cleaning protocol for hosts to opt into if they want. The company said it worked with a former U.S. Surgeon General to develop the standard, which is, at its core, a deep clean throughout your whole house.

There is a handbook and instructional video.

Those that have completed it will have an indication that it's done on their listing.

Hosts who choose not to do the enhanced cleaning can agree to a 72 hour window between bookings

"It takes more time and it takes greater care, but our house community really wants to make sure that people are safe when they come in their homes, and that they're safe themselves," said Dagg.

Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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