Interest for Airbnb rises in Cairns, but hoteliers upset with lack of rules

Published on : Saturday, November 18, 2017

AirbnbThe battle between Airbnb and conventional accommodation operators eager to win favor of thousands of tourists is gaining warmth in the tropical North.


The Airbnb statistics portray that the US-based brand had over 1,400 listings in Cairns as of September this year with an annual growth rate of just a little under 50%. This American company states that Cairns hosts had been able to earn a total of $11.3 million in terms of income during the 12 months to September.


Brent Thomas who is the head of public policy of Airbnb said that for regular Queenslanders and small businesses in Cairns Airbnb has turned out to be a lifeline to a considerable extent.


The average host in Cairns earns about $7,000 a year that goes a long way in easing the extremely high cost of living.


He feels that without the cost or delay of constructing a brand new hotel or any other attraction Airbnb can be able to assist Cairns in luring more guests thereby growing the tourism sector to a large extent. He went on to add that Airbnb also has a proven record in enabling cities manage increases in demand.


Airbnb mentioned in a statement that the typical annual income for Cairns host was around $7,000.


However in a similar way the strong debate between Uber and the taxi industry the hotel operators are complaining about the lack of regulation in case of Airbnb. Presently no State Government laws exist about how Airbnb operates in Queensland.


Nic O’Donnell, Shangri-La Cairns general manager and Far North spokesman for the Queensland Hotels Association feels that the unrestrained growth of the private hospitality industry for instance Airbnb is a cause of concern to the accommodation industry for several factors.


One of the factors is that sharing economy hosts are now not subject to the regulations imposed on the registered accommodation providers. Furthermore there is no consumer protection for their customers. Moreover sharing economy operators, at least a few of them do not pay the accurate levels of taxation fees.


Data from Tourism Research Australia demonstrated that there has been a 93% growth in international tourist nights in unregulated accommodation facilities ever since the year 2008.


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