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Associations join forces to call on level playing field for short term accommodation

Sydney Harbour tourists EDITED

Australia’s accommodation sector has called on the NSW Government to level the playing field for all accommodation including commercial property owners using on-line distribution channels to rent houses and units for short-term letting.

The call has come in the form of a joint statement from the Accommodation Association of Australia, Tourism Accommodation Australia, the Tourism and Transport Forum, YHA Australia and Hosted Accommodation Australia.

The bodies say in response to the rapid rise in the unregulated short-term accommodation sector, accommodation providers are advocating for the NSW Government committee to recommend:
-Increasing transparency of supply in the sector by implementing a register for all short-term accommodation providers, and advocating for the Federal Government to implement permanent research tools to better understand the extent and impact of short-term holiday letting;
-Reforming regulation to facilitate the creation of a level playing field between traditional and new emerging operators; and
-Requiring distribution channels of short-term accommodation rentals to play a role in educating their users and only listing registered compliant properties on their channels to prevent them becoming ‘quasi hotels’, operating without safety measures, and with limited contribution to the economy and employment.

The accommodation providers stressed they were not opposed to short-term holiday letting and had shown over many decades their willingness to accept new entrants to the accommodation sector.

They agreed that those engaging in genuine ‘home sharing’ should be treated differently to those engaged in commercial short-term rentals. Operators of multiple properties providing unregulated short-term accommodation rentals need to be regulated, and platforms facilitating their operation should be required to enforce compliance of regulatory standards.

Accommodation providers believe that the NSW Government can address the issue of an uneven playing field in the accommodation sector by applying a transparent, fair and proportionate regulatory framework that looks where possible at opportunities to deregulate traditional operators from cumbersome and outdated red tape processes.

The sector looks forward to working with the Committee on developing a framework that ensures the continuing success and growth of the accommodation sector in NSW.

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