Airbnb chief calls for ‘fair rules’ change

Saskia AdystiAlbany Advertiser
Figures obtained by the Albany Advertiser revealed more than 12,700 visitors used the Great Southern region’s 190 Airbnb listings last year
Camera IconFigures obtained by the Albany Advertiser revealed more than 12,700 visitors used the Great Southern region’s 190 Airbnb listings last year Credit: Albany Advertiser

After an increase of more than 50 per cent in Airbnb renters in Albany last year, its head of public policy Brent Thomas said he welcomed the State’s parliamentary inquiry into the short-stay accommodation industry.

Mr Thomas said the archaic rules suggested by the Australian Hotels Association on the industry were “unfair and heavy-handed” and often varied from one local government to the next.

“At a time when local tourism is struggling, these rules are acting as a handbrake on growth,” he said. “It would be grossly unfair to make someone sharing a two-bedroom home follow the same rules as a twenty-bedroom international hotel.”

Mr Thomas said the regulation needed to change to provide fair rules and management for home sharing in WA, just like there are in other States

City of Albany health, building and compliance manager Scott Reitsema said the City’s short term accommodation regulations existed for operators and customers.

Figures obtained by the Albany Advertiser revealed more than 12,700 visitors used the Great Southern region’s 190 Airbnb listings from November 2017 to November 2018 — reflecting a growth of more than 56 per cent.

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