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These U.S. Cities Have the Highest Airbnb Fees, Study Shows

Although Airbnb has become a mainstay in the world of vacation rentals — and may be a cheaper option for some accommodations — a recent study shows how extra fees upon booking add up across the U.S.

According to a Forbes Advisor analysis, Atlanta has the highest average fee added onto the nightly rate at a whopping 48 percent. That was followed by Phoenix at 47 percent and Fort Myers Beach, Florida, at 46 percent. 

The study looked at 32,000 listings in the 100 most popular Airbnb markets for rentals in July 2023. Overall, customers are responsible for an average of 36 percent in fees added to the listed nightly rate, with the average cleaning fee coming in at $160.

In some markets, cleaning fees can stretch to over $300, like in Telluride, Colorado, where the fee comes in at $313. Cities in Florida make up five of the top 10 highest cleaning-fee percentages in the country, according to the study.

Typically, cleaning fees make up 11 percent of the total bill, while service fees make up about 15 percent and taxes make up 10 percent.

Still, there are cities where travelers can get more of a bang for their short-term rental buck — like New York City where the total add-on fees are only 23 percent of the nightly rate, or Santa Barbara, California, where the total add-on fees make up only 24 percent of the nightly rate.

Fees on Airbnb have been a point of contention for years. Last year, the company said it would introduce more price transparency by rolling out a feature to show total costs, including charges like cleaning fees and service fees. Airbnb rolled out a similar total pricing strategy in some markets in 2019, including in Europe and the United Kingdom. Total pricing is also available in Australia, Canada, and Korea.

Source : Travel Leisure