Visit Oxford to partner with AirDNA for short-term rental market data

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, August 18, 2022

The Oxford Tourism Council voted Monday to approve a contract with AirDNA, a market research tool that will provide data insight into vacation rentals in Oxford.

Visit Oxford plans to enter into a contract with AirDNA to paint a clearer picture of the economic impact of vacation rentals, especially during the football and baseball seasons. Data will be brought back to the council to discuss.

AirDNA provides occupancy data on short-term rental properties listed on third-party sites, giving Oxford access to key economic trends in its tourism industry. 

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“It would be a full time job just to look at the data on AirBNB and VRBO.” said Kinney Ferris, executive director of Visit Oxford.

The site analyzes occupancy rates, annual revenue, and daily rate averages to provide data on booking activity, trends, and year-over-year changes in the short-term rental economy. Data from short-term rentals that are not listed on third-party sites will not be included.

Online vacation home marketplaces are growing in popularity, with many hotel businesses like The Graduate providing a platform for home rentals. Oxford currently sources hospitality figures from STR, a platform similar to AirDNA, for hotel occupancy data. STR has been conducting research into short-term rental analytics, but does not yet provide this feature to its customers.

Oxford, like many cities in the state, imposes a 2% Tourism and Economic Development tax on the gross proceeds of sales from hotel room rentals. As defined by the Mississippi Department of Revenue, a hotel is any daily or weekly rental lodging accommodation. 

“The rental properties are collecting the 2% tourism tax. Those companies say they are paying it into the Department of Revenue, we’re just not sure the city is ever getting it,” said Ferris. “We’re really starting to press on the Department of Revenue to make sure that these cities who are heavy in vacation rentals are actually getting the taxes.”

Data collected from this partnership will provide a more accurate view of the economic development of Oxford through its tourism industry.