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Rural Indiana sees Airbnb boom

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Home sharing through Airbnb in rural Indiana grew by 153 percent in the last year, according to a new study from the company.

The “Beyond Cities” report says 12,000 people used Airbnb to stay in a rural location in Indiana between February 2016 and February 2017.

Renting your home through the website is becoming increasingly popular in rural areas, according to the report.

It attracts tourists and their dollars to communities outside of major cities, and allows those renting out their homes to supplement their income.

The study says there are at least 330 active “rural hosts” in Indiana.

In the last year, the Hoosier hosts earned about $1.3 million, or about $3,400 each.

Airbnb says the expansion of rural rentals means some areas end up having more Airbnb rooms/homes available than actual hotel rooms.

According to the report, about 16 percent of Indiana’s hotel rooms are in rural areas, while 14 percent of the state’s Airbnb listings are outside of major cities.

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