How to Make Money on Airbnb in the Philippines (And Is It Profitable?)

How to make money on Airbnb in the philippines

I can imagine your eyebrows are raised while reading the title of this article. Perhaps, you’re already asking this burning question: So, how much can I earn from Airbnb per month? I can’t promise to give you exact figures since several factors contribute to the income.

But one thing’s for sure: Airbnb hosting in the Philippines has been one of the sources of income for some Filipinos. Building an Airbnb business is more than just luck. In this article, you’ll learn the ropes of the trade to decide if it’s actually worth pursuing.


Overview of Airbnb Hosting in the Philippines

Filipino Airbnb hosts stimulated the country’s economy with $ 1 billion, creating 160,000 jobs in 2019. Guests also spent over $930 million, representing 1.2% of the country’s total tourism expenditure in that same year.

In early 2021, 68% of new Filipino hosts were Gen Zs and millennials (18-40 years old). Despite travel restrictions, these hosts collectively earned over ₱21 million. According to a Q1 2021 survey, 57% of Filipino hosts reported that hosting income helped them stay in their homes, and they found new ways to host guests.

Top cities for new Airbnb hosts in the Philippines include Metro Manila, Tagaytay, and Metro Cebu. In the third quarter, Pasay ranked as the number one trending domestic destination for Filipino guests, followed by El Nido, Cebu City, Paranaque, and Iloilo City.

Over 62% of all hosts are women, collectively earning over ₱8 million in the first half of 2021. Searches by international guests for Airbnb stays in the Philippines grew by over 140% (YoY) from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022.

More than 60 cities and towns have welcomed their very first Airbnb guests since the start of the pandemic, an incredible opportunity for Filipino hosts in off-the-beaten-path destinations.

What are the pros and cons of being an Airbnb host in the Philippines?

It’s not always a bed of roses when you’re an Airbnb host in the Philippines. So, make sure you’re weighing the pros and cons objectively.

Pros of being an Airbnb host
1. Additional income: Hosting guests can be a great source of extra income. Consider this—let’s say your occupancy rate is 60% for the entire month. If you’re fully booked for 18 days at a rate of ₱2,800 per day, that amounts to a monthly total of ₱50,400.
2. Growing market: The real estate and tourism industries in the Philippines are booming. In fact, In 2022, the real estate industry generated ₱536 billion, while tourism contributed 6.2% to the GDP. But these numbers are lower than the pre-COVID-19 lockdown figures of 12.7% in 2019. This growth is expected to continue, providing more opportunities for hosts.
3. Flexibility: As an Airbnb host, you have full control over pricing, with the ability to adjust it during peak seasons. Enjoy the flexibility to decide when to rent out your property, making it ideal for hosts with other commitments.


Cons of being an Airbnb host
1. Regulations and legalities: As an Airbnb host, you must comply with local laws and regulations. For instance, under the Philippine Consumer Protection Act, you must provide specific information to your customers when offering services online. Airbnb has a guide on responsible hosting for you to know your responsibilities and duties as a service provider. 
2. Maintenance and management: Hosting on Airbnb can be work-intensive. It requires skills in marketing, customer relations, communication, and property management. Maintaining the property to a high standard at all times is important to attract more bookings, and Airbnb will hold you accountable if they receive complaints from guests. 
3. Unpredictable income: While long-term rentals offer a steady income, Airbnb bookings may fluctuate. It’s important to note that there could be periods of high demand followed by temporary vacancies.
4. Potential disagreements for difficult guests: Handling difficult guests can be challenging, from property damage to complaints and special requests. Noisy guests in condos and apartments can be bothersome to neighbors. Before hosting, check your homeowners’ manual or condo’s rules for tenants and guests.

This is not an exhaustive list of pros and cons, but you kind of get it by now that you’re actually running a business when you become an Airbnb host.

What are the steps to take before listing your property on Airbnb

Before listing your property on Airbnb in the Philippines, review these steps to ensure legal compliance, obtain necessary business permits, and guarantee the safety and satisfaction of your guests.

1. Take care of legal compliance and permits

For any business venture, complying with local regulations, obtaining permits, and paying taxes are part of your obligations before earnings.

To operate an accommodation establishment, such as hotels, resorts, motels, and bed and breakfast facilities, you must comply with registration requirements.

The Department of Tourism provides information on accreditation standards and manages registration through their online portal. The required documents for accreditation are as follows:

  • ✅ Letter of intent to operate, indicating whether operations will be for accommodation, food services, or both
  • ✅ Accomplished Application Form which need not be notarized
  • ✅ Accomplished Self-Assessment Form
  • ✅ Valid Mayor’s or Business Permit
  • ✅ Sworn Statement of Undertaking

As a host, some regulations may impact you depending on your location. You may also need permits like the following:

  • ✅ Mayor’s permit
  • ✅ Barangay clearance
  • ✅ Occupancy permit
  • ✅ Sanitary permit
  • ✅ Fire safety insurance certificate

The list can be overwhelming for some new to this venture. It’s best to visit your local government for more details or consult a local attorney for more comprehensive advice.

2. Review your insurance policy and coverage

Before listing your property on Airbnb, consult your insurance agent to ensure you have proper coverage for liability, property protection, and potential risks like damage or theft. It’s important to minimize your risks and enjoy a worry-free hosting experience.

Remember, your property is an investment, and it’s vital to safeguard it against potential damage or vandalism. Consulting your insurance agent helps you understand if your existing policy covers these risks or if you need additional coverage.

One of the Airbnb hosting horror stories is a trashed and wrecked property that will cause you to miss plenty of bookings because of the necessary repairs you need to do in the interim. Perhaps this is a worst case scenario that a host will experience once in a lifetime. But it’s better to be prepared with insurance than nothing.

3. Prepare your property

To ensure a successful listing on Airbnb, you must ensure that your property is clean, safe, and ready for guests. Here’s a list of what you can do before accepting guests.

  • Cleaning: Deep-clean every room and surface, including high-touch areas like counters, doorknobs, and light switches. Provide clean linens, towels, and toiletries for your guests.
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspect for pests, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and check for water damage or leaks to prevent mold. Create a maintenance schedule for bigger projects, such as repainting walls or replacing carpets.
  • House manual: Write a house manual to share important details about your space, including house rules, parking information, WiFi details, and instructions for properly using appliances and electronics.
  • Enhanced cleaning: Follow Airbnb’s 5-step enhanced cleaning process, which includes proper ventilation, cleaning, and sanitizing between guest stays.
  • Property management: Consider hiring a helper (if it’s a small space) or a property manager (big houses like villas) to handle cleaning, maintenance, and urgent repairs if you cannot do it yourself.

4. Create a listing of your property

Ready to list your property on Airbnb? Don’t forget to include essential details like location, accommodation capacity, and confirmed address.

Be vivid and accurate in your description. Choose up to two highlights, such as “peaceful,” “unique,” or “spacious,” to make your listing shine.

Here are some of the key highlights to focus on for your guests to know.

To create a listing on Airbnb that generates new bookings, especially for a first-timer in the Philippines, consider the following tips:

  • Presentation and photos: Invest in high-quality photos that showcase your property’s best features, including each room and exclusive amenities. You may go the extra mile by providing a 360-degree view of your property for an immersive preview.
  • Unique selling points: Identify your target guests and define unique selling points that might attract them to book with you. This can be about the proximity of your property to malls or tourist attractions.
  • Optimize for Airbnb SEO: Ensure your listing performs well on the factors that Airbnb considers important for search ranking. Try the autosuggest on Google search to see how your guests search for properties in your area and what kind of properties pop out on the search results. For example: “2 bedroom condo in Makati” or private villa in Baguio.”
  • Activate Instant Book: Turn on Instant Book to increase your bookings if you want to have more income.

Check out the properties with 5-star ratings listed on Airbnb and get some inspiration on optimizing their photos and content.

5. Publish your Airbnb listing

Before hitting publish on your listing, take the time to ensure that everything is accurate and up-to-date.

Choose the type of first guest you’d like to host and review your listing again to make sure it’s appealing and accurately reflects your property.

6. Manage bookings to generate regular income

Managing bookings involves responding to inquiries promptly and updating your calendar regularly. Make sure the check-ins and check-outs are hassle-free for your guests.

Remember, the first guest will significantly impact your listing with reviews. Aim to get your first 5-star rating to build trust and credibility for subsequent bookings

7. Pay your taxes and give what’s due to the government

This last point seems anticlimactic. But for compliance, you need to take into account the property taxes and declare your rental earnings to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Individuals earning up to 250,000 remain exempt from income tax, but income earners between ₱251,000 and ₱8,000,000 will pay tax rates ranging from 15% to 30%, depending on the income bracket.

If you’re running multiple Airbnb properties, you better work with accountants to keep accurate records of your earnings and expenses.

Is Airbnb hosting in the Philippines profitable and worth it?

Airbnb hosting in the Philippines is profitable, especially in popular tourist spots like Boracay, Palawan, and Cebu.

Factors like affordable property prices, high demand for short-term rentals, and additional income opportunities through tours and experiences contribute to profitability. Monthly earnings range from ₱20,000 to ₱40,000, with higher rates near attractions.

Here’s a good example: this two-bedroom condo in Boracay that can accommodate 10 guests costs ₱13,033 per night. Cleaning fees, taxes, and discounts are excluded. If you check the blocked dates in January 2024, there are about 8 bookings. If we do the math, that’s already ₱104,264 monthly income.

Airbnb hosting income viewImage: Airbnb

What’s interesting is that you can maximize earnings using Airbnb’s “What’s My Place Worth” tool and consider offering tours and experiences. But then again, always remember to factor in the costs like housekeeping, maintenance, utilities, and taxes when calculating potential earnings.

At the end of the day, it’s all about location, location, location.

Final thoughts

All in all, Airbnb hosting in the Philippines is a viable source of income if done right. The key to success lies in picking the most desirable location and preparing a well-maintained property with attention to detail.

Looking up local licensing and taxation requirements also ensures you won’t get in trouble with the local authorities.

Remember that once you become an Airbnb host, you run your own business — making money may not be immediate. Still, with dedication and proper processes, there’s definitely potential for long-term gain.

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of becoming an Airbnb host in the Philippines and all the mandatory steps one must take before hosting let’s examine our own reality.

Are you considering hosting your extra space? What’s your game plan?

Leave your thoughts on this business in the comments section.