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Hoteliers demand action on Sydney ‘instant hotels’

March 16, 2018 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) is demanding action on Airbnb ‘quasi-hotels’, saying one of the platform’s hosts has 252 active listings across Sydney with total earnings of more than AUD 3.8 million.

TAA chief executive Carol Giuseppi says quasi-hotels are springing up across the Sydney metropolitan area with commercial residential property listings on Airbnb having leapt a massive 42% in a year, — and the top handful of Airbnb hosts are offering hundreds of active listings in their names.

The rapid conversion of residential properties into commercial tourist accommodation without any transparency or controls needs to be addressed immediately, Giuseppi said.

“More than 11,000 properties across metropolitan Sydney now fall into this category on Airbnb – that’s a third of their listings.

“Far from being just a place where ‘mum and dad’ operators can rent out a room or their house for a few days, this part of the economy is morphing into actual commercial operations which compete directly with existing hotels, costing jobs and affecting investment in one of the most vital sectors in NSW.

“For example, one host has a mammoth 252 active listings across Sydney with total earnings of more than AUD 3.8million, another has 182 active listings with earnings of more than AUD 2.1million annually.

“This has gone far beyond renting out the spare room to get some extra dollars, or booking out your house while you are on holidays.”

Giuseppi said TAA had no issue with individual operators renting out rooms in their own homes, but had real problems with quasi-hotels springing up across metropolitan areas.

“We actually welcome genuine sharing and hosted accommodation in people’s homes, our issue is with “instant hotels” and residential properties being rented out for short-term commercial use,” she said.

“Renting out premises for more than three months a year, plus the growing number of properties rented out by hosts with multiple listings, actually indicates a commercial operation not share accommodation – I’m not sure how anyone can argue otherwise?

“Airbnb has acknowledged overseas multiple listings by hosts across different addresses indicates a “commercial operation” – why won’t they do the same here?”

Giuseppi said there were several options the NSW State Government could take to bring Sydney in line with overseas cities.

“There are a range of options that can be looked at to make the system fair for everyone,” she said.

“Starting with recognising that renting out a premises for more than 90 days is actually a commercial enterprise, to cracking down on multiple listings and introducing some regulatory control to ensure transparency.

“Surely the residents of Sydney deserve the same protections as places like San Francisco, New York, London and Paris?”

Edited by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Paul Dimmick says:

    At our eco-tourism resort, Huon Bush Retreats, in southern Tasmania, we have the crazy situation that crisis welfare agencies are sending homeless people to us.

    The Tasmanian government deregulated Airbnb in 2017, allowing owners to rent up to four rooms on sharing platforms. Hobart has lost a substantial portion of it’s previous rental properties to AirBnB. Reputable regional Tasmanian tourism operators have also lost substantial business to dodgy operators who provide sub-standard accommodations that fail to meet the requirements imposed on accredited operators.

    Airbnb claims to have hosted 169,000 guests in the 12 months to January 2017. This is around 10% of all tourists to Tasmania in that period. Assuming 1/3 occupancy, it also means about 500,000 rental tenant nights per year are not available. The result is that Hobart’s rental market, has hit a record low vacancy rate of 0.6% with homeless families resorting to living in cars and tents.
    Some of these end up seeking help from the social crisis agencies, who then book them into our tourist accommodation.

    So the tourists who come to Tasmania to experience nature, stay in the city, while Tasmanian’s with jobs and friends in the city are forced to stay at a nature retreat in the countryside.

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