The accommodation industry is supporting calls for the South Australian Government to properly regulate sharing economy providers, including Airbnb.
The Accommodation Association of Australia said that unless the SA Government moves to address this issue, the safety of domestic and international visitors is at risk.
“In June last year following little or no consultation, the South Australian Government effectively gave the green light to sharing economy platforms to operate with the same level of regulation as residential properties,” said Accommodation Association of Australia Chief Operating Officer, Laura Younger.
“In its pre-election policy agenda, the South Australian Tourism Industry Council is advocating for the development and implementation of regulations for the sharing economy industry – and the Accommodation Association strongly supports this position.
“Our industry would like to see both the Government and the Opposition take a much stronger stand on this issue to next year’s election, in what is a vitally important policy area for tourism.
“If the major parties choose to continue with the status quo, jobs in the tourism industry will be lost because the likes of Airbnb employ very few, if any South Australians, unlike traditional accommodation operators, who directly employ cleaners, chefs, maintenance staff, gardeners, accountants, sales/marketing staff, bar staff and front-office managers, among numerous other positions.
“What’s more, how much payroll tax does Airbnb contribute to the South Australian Government?
“Failing to properly regulate sharing economy accommodation also presents a safety risk because residential properties do not have to meet the same stringent building fire safety standards that traditional accommodation establishments do.
“This is particularly important given that in NSW, the Coroner is conducting an investigation into a fatal fire at a property which was thought to have been booked through a sharing economy platform,” said Younger.