Research and reports
9 September 2022
You don’t need to list a property on Airbnb to make money hosting an experience on the online platform. You just need to have a unique tour, activity, or class that people might want to do while they’re visiting your local area.
Whether you’re interested in having a side hustle or want to explore a new revenue stream for your existing business, running an Airbnb experience can be lucrative and rewarding.
Here we’ll explain more about how to set up your Airbnb Experiences page, pros and cons, as well as ideas for adapting an existing small business for the tourist crowd.
Airbnb says an experience can be anything, but it should ‘go beyond the typical tour or class’. The idea is that it’s something unique, designed by a local, and gives people an insider’s view of your city or culture.
Popular activities include:
People usually find experiences when they’ve booked to stay somewhere through Airbnb (although anyone can browse the experiences page). The booking will show popular activities near where they’re staying, along with reviews to encourage them to sign up.
Airbnb does take a percentage of the money you make through experiences. Currently it’s listed as a service fee of 20 per cent of the total cost you charge guests.
Your earnings are released 24 hours after your experience has ended, and will appear in your nominated bank account up to five days later.
If you’re already a small business owner but are keen to find additional ways to boost your profit, here are just a few ideas you could try, depending on your skill or trade:
From city tours to cooking lessons, here’s how to make money with Airbnb Experiences. You’ll need to have excellent customer service skills, show off your local knowledge, and make people feel welcome.
First, you’ll need to have an Airbnb account. Just head to the Airbnb website and click ‘Sign up’ if you don’t have an account already. Otherwise, it’ll be the same account you use for travelling.
Then you’re ready to create your experiences page with the following details:
Thinking of setting up an online experience? We explain more on this below.
It’s important to be aware of your Airbnb UK tax responsibilities so you stay on the right side of HMRC.
Everyone’s allowed a £1,000 tax-free trading allowance, so you don’t have to tell HMRC about any income unless you’re making more than this in a tax year.
If you’re running Airbnb experiences regularly then you’ll probably need to set yourself up as self-employed and file a tax return every January.
If this is just a side business for you, read our guide to second job tax to understand in more detail.
As an Airbnb Experiences host, you’re automatically covered by Airbnb’s liability insurance.
This covers you if there’s a claim against you for:
However, if running experiences is only one part of your business, you’ll need to organise additional cover. Find out more about business insurance and tailor a quote to suit your needs.
Airbnb introduced Online Experiences during the pandemic in 2020, and they surged in popularity. There are now hundreds of online experiences listed on Airbnb, ranging from magic tricks to a coffee masterclass.
To get set up with an online experience, you’ll need to submit a video demonstration to Airbnb so they can confirm it meets their standards (in addition to the steps mentioned above). Airbnb has created guides on how to create a video submission to help you set up.
Is there anything else you want to know about making money on Airbnb experiences? Let us know in the comments.
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