The accommodation industry is pointing to recent reports by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), which highlight that AUD$8.5 billion in investment growth in tourism accommodation development is at risk because of the emergence of platforms for residential properties to be used for tourism accommodation, such as Airbnb.
It’s prompted the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) to make a renewed call for tighter regulation of such platforms.
“TRA’s ‘Tourism Investment Monitor 2015’ has identified a total value of AUD$8.5 billion in tourist accommodation development, with AUD$1.1 billion of this being new,” said AAoA’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.
“On the face of it, this is great news. But in the background, our industry is being undermined by unregulated, non-compliant and often illegal accommodation which puts the benefits and long-term viability of that investment at risk.
“Our industry is on the precipice of potentially experiencing substantial growth and increasing the substantial contribution to the Australian economy it already makes.
“This growth will not be realised unless there is a level playing field for all businesses in the accommodation industry.
“Therefore, the Accommodation Association is making a fresh call for consistent taxation rules to apply to all companies which are operating in Australia’s accommodation industry, as per our submission to the Tax White Paper.
“In addition, the Association supports each residential property which is being used for tourism accommodation illegally should be handed a fine of not less than AUD$1 million.
“This would assist with ensuring consumer safety, as well as vitally important investment in tourism accommodation infrastructure in Australia,” Munro said.