Airbnb marked achieving its four millionth UK guest by hosting business secretary Sajid Javid at its London base as he announced the publication of a report into the UK sharing economy.
The homesharing site now has more than 81,000 UK listings, a figure which has almost doubled in a year.
Hosts welcomed more than 2.2 million global travellers to the UK in 2015, 85% of whom said they choose to stay in homes listed on Airbnb to ‘live like a local’ in communities beyond tourist hotspots.
Javid said: “Innovative businesses in the sharing economy give consumers more choice and put money in the pockets of ordinary people across the country.
“This is why the government wants the UK to be a welcoming place for new ideas and a beacon for innovation.”
The report, commissioned by the UK sharing economy trade body Sharing Economy UK and Airbnb, looks at whether traditional measures of productivity adequately capture the economic impact of the sharing economy and makes recommendations for how to modernise measurement of the UK’s economic health.
The study concludes that the peer-to-peer nature of the sharing economy has created a ‘measurement gap’.
It calls for changes to official economic data collection to focus more on individuals, accurately reflecting the increasing overlap between the economy and everyday life.
Javid added: “This new report raises interesting questions about whether traditional measurements can reflect the true value of these modern businesses to our economy, as well as the role they can play in boosting productivity.”