The company’s director of public policy in Canada, Alexandra Dagg, said they’re seeing growth in Regina and Saskatoon as more travellers turn to the app for short-term residential rentals.
“It’s great to see these five weekends in those cities and how people are using our platform to come and experience events or visiting family or whatever the reason they are choosing to come,” Dagg said.
“The other thing we see is a lot of people within Saskatchewan coming to the cities. It’s a lot of travel just of other people from Saskatchewan coming in and staying.”
Regina’s five busiest weekends of 2019 and some attractions for Airbnb guests include:
- Aug. 9-11: (Two Garth Brooks concerts and Regina Folk Festival);
- Oct. 25-27: (Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Mosaic Stadium);
- Aug. 30-Sept. 1: (Labour Day Classic and long weekend);
- Aug. 23-25: (Ottawa Redblacks vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders); and
- July 19-21: (Regina Dragon Boat Festival as well as B.C. Lions vs. Riders).
The Queen City’s host earnings for the top five weekends came in at over $500,000, according to Airbnb. Total guest arrivals specified by users was 3,500.
Top five busiest weekends of 2019 in Saskatoon and some attractions were:
- Aug. 16-18: (Rock the River festival);
- July 5-7: (Kiefer Sutherland concert and Saskatoon FolkFest);
- Aug. 23-25: (Canadian Elite Basketball League championship weekend);
- Aug. 30-Sept. 1: (Labour Day long weekend); and
- July 19-21: (FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters tournament and Taste of Saskatchewan).
Airbnb said the Bridge City’s host earnings for the five weekends came to $800,000. Total guest arrivals for the weekends came in at over 4,000.
“Our host families are earning during key weekends during the year in both cities and, in a lot of cases, this is really important supplemental income for these families to make a big difference in paying a mortgage,” Dagg said.
“It’s really great to see this kind of economic activity on our platform.”
In terms of the percentage the California-based company earns on these rentals, Dagg said if the nightly rate for one space is $100, then the host will keep $97.
“The money we earn on the platform provides the platform, the marketing, the networks, the insurance that we cover, our safety mechanisms, and customer support,” she said.
Dagg said it’s too early to tell how weekends will fare for the two cities in 2020.
“Because what we’re primarily seeing (peak) in Regina and Saskatoon are summer weekends. Not surprising. One outlier was the Heritage Classic in October where we saw big draws in Regina,” Dagg said.
“A number of these things are going to be repeats, like the Regina Folk Festival, the dragon boat festival, Labour Day weekends are always big weekends and a big weekend in both cities. So I expect that we’ll see a continuing trend of people coming into both cities, particularly during the summer months.”
The list of events for 2020 continues to grow with such upcoming attractions as the 2020 Grey Cup in Regina on Nov. 22 and Saskatoon hosting the Juno Awards on March 15.
According to Dagg, Airbnb’s host community in Regina is at 530 while Saskatoon has grown to 670 listings.
The total host earnings in 2019 for Regina hosts came to $2.8 million. Saskatoon hosts earned $4.3 million, Dagg also shared.