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Minnesota's rural Airbnb hosts have seen earnings double during pandemic

The online rental service said earnings in Greater MN have doubled

The COVID-19 pandemic had many vacationers looking for quiet getaways within driving distance of home - resulting in a windfall for rural Airbnb hosts.

The online rental service said hosts in Greater Minnesota have raked in $23 million since the beginning of the pandemic. That's nearly double the amount they earned in 2019. 

The "typical" rural Minnesota host has taken in $6,900 over the past 12 months, Airbnb told Bring Me The News. Normally, these hosts would earn about $3,300 over the course of a summer.

It's a trend the company said is continuing nationwide, with queries for remote staycations booming ahead of Memorial Day Weekend. Searches for rentals within 50-300 miles account for about seven in every 10 searches of late. This makes properties that are away from denser cities – "off the beaten path," as Airbnb puts it – an attractive option for vacationers.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources saw a similar spike in interest last year, and changed its lodging reservation policies in response to the booming demand. 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is also seeing a flood of interest.

People want tents, yurts

"Staycationers" aren't just looking for a typical rental. Airbnb is seeing a surge in searches for more atypical lodgings. The number of searches for yurts is up 167% this year compared to 2019, while "campsite" is up 153%. Here's a look at the data Airbnb provided about search trends:

  • Tent +260%
  • Yurt +167%
  • Campsite +153%
  • Earthouse +149%
  • Houseboat +142%
  • Dome house +140%
  • Farm Stay +119%
  • Treehouse +111%
  • Tiny House +109%
  • Barn +86%

Oddly enough, the most wish-listed Airbnb property in all of Minnesota is ... this artsy, one-bedroom home in Northeast Minneapolis known as the Wolf House. 

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