Central Virginia hosts earned more than $5.4 million this summer renting out their homes and spaces to nearly 35,000 guests, according to figures recently released by Airbnb.

The figures represent the period from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Airbnb said that across the state, hosts earned $60.3 million in supplemental income while serving about 371,900 guests.

Charlottesville was by far the region’s leader, with those renting their homes for short-term occupancy earning $3.7 million and serving 25,000 guests, according to Airbnb figures.

The city was the third-most popular destination in Virginia, behind Virginia Beach and Richmond and ahead of Norfolk and Arlington.

Greene County was second in the region, with $465,000 in host earnings and 3,100 guests, the figures show.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb is an online short-term rental company that provides a platform for property owners to rent space to guests. The hosts keep 97% of the lodging fees.

“Throughout the summer of 2019, we have continued to see the significant, positive impact of our short-term rental community across Virginia. With more guest arrivals this summer than ever before, hosts and small businesses have been able to enjoy the opportunities created by an expanded tourism economy,” said Kelley Gossett, head of Mid-Atlantic public policy for Airbnb.

“As we mark yet another historic summer and look ahead, we hope to keep working with state government, as well as towns and cities statewide, to ensure short-term rentals can continue to play a strong role in the entire Virginia economy,” Gossett said.

As of July, more than 1.6 million Virginia residents used Airbnb to travel over the past year, the company said.

The rentals have been an issue for local governments because they challenge existing regulations, particularly with transient occupancy tax.

Airbnb has touted an agreement it can sign with localities to collect those taxes as part of the booking fee, but only three localities in Virginia have entered it.

Charlottesville’s commissioner of the revenue, Todd Divers, has called the proposal a “devil’s bargain.”

Currently, Charlottesville residents are asked to get a homestay permit through the Department of Neighborhood Development Services, obtain a business license and then collect the city’s lodging tax, which is 8%.

Divers uses a third-party consultant to compare listings on the site with homestay permits to monitor compliance. The city then works with property owners to meet regulations.

Elsewhere in Central Virginia, Louisa County had 2,300 visits worth $407,000; Orange County had 2,300 visits worth $282,000; Albemarle County had 2,200 visits earning $314,000; and Nelson County had 1,800 visits worth $253,000.

The company had no figures for rentals in Madison, Fluvanna or Buckingham counties.

{span}In August, Albemarle changed its homestay regulations after two years of discussions. Whole-house rentals are only allowed on large Rural Area lots for a limited number of days per year.

The county also passed an ordinance requiring homestay operators to register with the county and pay a $27 fee. Failure to register carries a $500 fine.

It also charges a $50 homestay inspection fee to offset the cost of additional part-time staffing.{/span}

{span}Earlier this year, the county started to use a third-party software program to identify homestays operating without a permit.{/span}

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