Accommodation hosts on the China branch of US-based Airbnb, a vacation rental website-cum-app, bring considerable economic benefits and employment to their local community, the company’s new survey of both hosts and guests found.

Besides, hosts double up as “travel influencers”, educating their guests about the most authentic ways to enjoy destinations.

This enlightened, sophisticated approach to boosting travel and tourism is made possible by the fact that about 82 percent of Airbnb’s hosts in China hold other jobs.

And 90 percent of them hold bachelor or postgraduate degrees and work in industries like arts and entertainment, internet, and real estate, according to the Airbnb survey report.

More than 90 percent of hosts among survey respondents said they made at least one recommendation to their guests last year.

Typically, hosts on the short-term lodging website/app recommend tourist attractions, activities, restaurants and experiences in the neighborhood. About 90 percent of the businesses recommended by hosts are locally owned, and 91 percent are located in the neighborhood of the listings.

For instance, Guo Qi, a professional architectural designer in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, and his wife, who have listed their property on Airbnb, often recommend attractions and restaurants in and around Chengdu to their guests.

“I hope we can make our guests comfortable and cozy during their stays and let them experience quality leisure time in Chengdu,” Guo said.

And 79 percent of guests who took part in the survey said they visited the places recommended by their hosts, Airbnb said.

The top reason why Chinese hosts list their residences or rooms for short-term rental on Airbnb is “to earn extra spending money”.

By opening their doors to guests, most hosts on Airbnb think they can “meet new people” and “get to know other cultures”.

Some hosts spend the money earned from Airbnb listings on vacations themselves as well as on home renovations, education and activities related to post-retirement life, the report noted.

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