Airbnb reveals all about how people stay in London: Tourists prefer outer boroughs over central

Lynsey Barber
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Trees Display Autumnal Colours Greenwich Park
It's leafy and local over central congestion for Airbnb renters (Source: Getty)

Visitors staying at Airbnbs in the capital prefer the outer boroughs rather than central London locations in the heart of the city.

The increase in nights stayed in places around the outskirts is nearly 20 per cent higher than areas in the centre of the city, research from the global rental startup found.

Visitors are flocking towards the suburbs to experience local life in London and to visit specific neighbourhoods, bringing a greater amount of London's multi-billion pound tourist spend outside the major attractions and to local businesses - 80 per cent of Londoners renting out their place recommend local activities and places to visit.

Airbnb calculates that nearly three-quarters of spending by guests goes to local bars, restaurants and cultural attractions.

Read more: Calls for sharing economy to be counted in official figures

“London continues to break records for visitors from across the globe, who come for the unbeatable cultural attractions and heritage to be found here," said mayor Boris Johnson. "But as more tourists seek out the new, the idiosyncratic, the hidden, the local, it is important to stay ahead of the game and capitalise on their desire to explore the lesser known gems London has to offer."

The typical Airbnb host in London earned £3,500 a year and more than half consider themselves freelancer or workers in the creative industries, while one in five say they used the extra cash to start a new business venture.

The major new report on Airbnb in the capital reveals the habits of hosts and visitors. Almost 25,000 people were hosts in London over the past year, hosting nearly one million guests, who stay 4.8 nights, on average.

The largest number of visitors come from Europe (65 per cent) and then North America (17 per cent).

"Companies like Airbnb are revolutionising whole swathes of our economy by giving everyday entrepreneurs and ordinary working families the chance to boost their income," said business secretary Sajid Javid.

There have been calls for the contribution of Airbnb and others as part of the sharing economy to be counted towards the UK's official figures.

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