New figures show a growing number of Garden State residents are welcoming strangers into their homes and getting paid for it.

According to Peter Schottenfels, a spokesman for Airbnb, there were more than 175,000 inbound guest arrivals in New Jersey between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

“That generated a lot of money for New Jersey residents. They earned $34.9 million in the summer months,” he said

Over the past year in New Jersey, Airbnb hosts earned $73.5 million from more than 370,000 guests.

Schottenfels said most Airbnb hosts share their home only occasionally.

“The typical listing has a guest for 41 nights a year, the average host in New Jersey is 44 years old, and 70 percent of hosts are women.”

You might imagine women would be more cautious than men about opening their homes to strangers, but Schottenfels said Airbnb has a number of mechanisms in place to ensure trust and safety.

“There have been over 200 million trips made on Airbnb and the overwhelming majority of them have been positive experiences.”

He explained hosts are able to communicate with guests beforehand and there are background checks and screening measures to make sure people are who they say they are.

He added the company recognizes there are many municipalities with different rules  in New Jersey and “we want to work with towns to find a good common-sense approach to home-sharing regulations.”

Why stay at someone’s home instead of a hotel or motel?

Schottenfels said people may opt for this kind of arrangement because it’s more convenient, and sometimes “the Airbnb guests are looking to experience where they’re traveling like a local.”

Airbnb listings also can be cheaper than a hotel room.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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