Tourism Industry Supports State-wide Regulation of Short Stay Accommodation

26 September 2019

Tourism Council WA welcomes today’s comprehensive report from the Economic and Industry Standing Committee on short-stay accommodation and supports the primary recommendation for a State-wide registration scheme.

Tourism Council WA will consider the report’s findings and recommendations in detail before discussing with State Government the best policy regime to ensure sustainable tourism and jobs growth. Tourism Council WA notes the findings that Airbnb can have an unfair impact on tourism businesses, housing affordability, accessibility and amenity for residents. 

Tourism Council WA supports genuine sharing of properties, with residents hosting visitors in their own home. Tourism Council WA does not support property investors flipping residential apartments into commercial short-stay accommodation. 

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the commercial short-stay use of residential properties impacted residential housing affordability and crowded out genuine residents in regional areas who provided character and appeal to visitors. 

“Renting an unhosted residential dwelling on a short-stay basis for commercial gain for even one night means the dwelling is no longer available for long-term residence by an owner or tenant,” he said.

“This can result in what is known as the Venice Effect, where visitors outnumber local residents, which erodes local communities and genuine local, unique experiences for visitors.”

Tourism Council WA has called for a level playing field with state-wide, consistent regulation which is effectively and equally enforced. 

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall presented the industry’s views on the commercial short-stay use of residential properties, through platforms like Airbnb, to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Short-Stay Accommodation in February.

“Platforms like Airbnb should be limited to the genuine sharing of primary residences, and should be prohibited from residential, strata-titled apartments which are not built to short-stay accommodation standards, like not having disabled access,” Mr Hall said.

“All residential housing used for short-stay accommodation should be registered under a state-wide scheme and local governments should be able to limit the number of residential dwellings used as short-stay accommodation.”

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