By Chabeli Herrera
The Miami Herald
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In the year of data that Airbnb provided to the Miami Herald, more than 355,000 travelers visited Miami-Dade via an Airbnb rental. The service’s popularity has grown exponentially since 2009, when it first surfaced in the county with 11 guests. Since 2014, local stays arranged via the site have more than tripled.
The Miami Herald
After a fight with breast cancer, artist Vivana Molinares’ priorities were shuffled around like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle: She wanted to stop working full-time, focus on her art and travel. But she needed cash.
That’s when she finally decided to try hosting visitors on home-sharing platform Airbnb, despite some lingering questions: How would I deal with strangers in my house? Who would come out to Kendall?
The answer to the first: rather well. Molinares cooks for her guests once or twice during their stay and said she’s never had a problem with any. She’s been a host for three years.
And the second: enough people to earn her and her husband, Alex, about $3,000 a year. All of it has all been invested back into Airbnb, she said, on her own trips to France, Ireland, England and Scotland and her upcoming travel to Colombia and Iceland.
“I use it all the time — I love it. It was amazing to stay in people’s houses. I never felt lonely, even when I traveled by myself,” Molinares said. “I don’t stay at hotels anymore.”
I use it all the time — I love it. It was amazing to stay in people’s houses. I don’t stay at hotels anymore. Viviana Molinares, Kendall Airbnb host
Statements like those alarm the local hotel industry, which has added the popularity of the home-sharing economy to a developing list of headwinds.