The popularity of Airbnb, an online marketplace for short-term accommodation, has been slow to explode in Mexico such as other similar services — Uber, for example.
But growth has now reached the point where the San Francisco-based company is considering setting up a local affiliate, writes business columnist Bárbara Anderson today in the newspaper Milenio.
The popular booking service now has 62,000 accommodation options in Mexico, everything from houses and apartments to mansions, ranches and lofts, an increase of 114% over 2015.
An even higher increase has been seen in the number of visitors accommodated. That figure was 974,000 last year, up 195% over 2015.
That’s still a fraction of Airbnb’s international bookings, which found accommodations for some 160 million people in 65 cities last year. Its Mexico bookings are also tiny when viewed against this country’s visitor numbers: just 1% used the portal to book their stay.
The most popular Mexican destinations on the website are Mexico City, where it lists 5,800 properties, the Riviera Maya, Cancún and Puerto Vallarta.
The typical Airbnb tourist is 35 years old and the average length of stay is four days. Of those who came to Mexico last year, 45% were from another Latin American country, 40% from the United States and 12% from Europe.
Anderson wrote that Mexican hosts are estimated to have rented their properties for 25 nights of the year by using the service, earning some 4,000 pesos a month.
Mexican travelers themselves use the site: 1.135 million booked accommodation on it last year.
In total Airbnb has about 150 million users, according to Wikipedia.
Meanwhile, one very unique Mexican property listed on the portal garnered some international attention earlier this month.
The Argentinean digital news service Infobae reported that the listing for 26-square-meter Casa Tiny, the smallest property on Airbnb, received almost 2 million visits last month.
Located in the Oaxaca beach destination Puerto Escondido, Casa Tiny rents for up to US $120 per night.
Built with simplicity in mind, it offers one bedroom, a bathroom and kitchen on two floors, “a minimalist space with low impact.”
As of today there was little availability until the third week in August.