Airbnb bookings for solar eclipse reach high levels

The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8th is already having a noticeable impact on the business world. According to AirDNA, a travel-data firm, a significant number of homes listed for short-term rental on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo in areas along the eclipse's path are already booked. In fact, 92% of listings within the zone of totality have been reserved for the day of the eclipse, April 7th.

Cities in the eclipse's path, such as Dallas, Indianapolis, and Montreal, are experiencing increased occupancy rates in hotels, with some seeing rates jump by as much as 67%. However, the limited inventory of lodging in these areas means that many rooms are only available at higher prices. The New York Times reported that nearly half of Super 8 motels in the path of the eclipse are charging double or more than their standard rates.

Despite the potential for price increases, many Airbnb hosts did not capitalize on the opportunity to raise their prices significantly. Bookings for the days surrounding the eclipse were made well in advance at standard rates. This means that hosts may only see a modest increase in revenue, estimated at $18 million from additional bookings and higher nightly rates.

Overall, it seems that both hosts and digital platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo may have missed out on maximizing their profits during this rare event. With the next total eclipses not occurring until 2033, 2044, and 2045 in different parts of the United States, there may not be another opportunity for these businesses to learn from their mistake for quite some time.


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