Reforms to the regulation of short-term holiday letting in NSW should see quasi-hotels such as Airbnb banned, says the Accommodation Association of Australia.
“It is vital that the new model for regulation of tourism accommodation in NSW has two top priorities – consumer safety and local jobs,” said the Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.
“At the moment, in almost all cases, when domestic and international visitors stay in an Airbnb apartment or property, they are staying in non-compliant accommodation – accommodation which does not meet the same high safety standards that traditional hotels have in place.
Munro also says that unless there is a crackdown on Airbnb, local jobs are at risk.
“Airbnb might claim that it supports jobs, but that’s not the same as directly employing people, as our members do,” he says.
Additionally, Munro believes that home-sharing services such as Airbnb cannot be allowed to continue if Australia – including NSW – is to maintain its reputation as a safe holiday destination.
“One of the most significant problems is residential properties – mainly apartments – with the same owner which are posted on Airbnb, meaning they are operating as virtual hotels, but with lower safety standards than actual hotels.
“Accommodation operators whose business aren’t located in metropolitan areas are finding it particularly tough. As our submission says, ‘sharing economy platforms are ruining the business environment for hotels, motels and other compliant tourism accommodation businesses outside of our major cities’.”
HM has requested a response for comment from Airbnb.