Airbnb’s appearance at the WA Parliamentary inquiry into short stay accommodation has raised more questions about their operations in Western Australia and the negative impact it has on local jobs and affected communities.
Today Airbnb had an opportunity to come clean about the true nature of their operations in Western Australia however their appearance was characterised by slick PR and was light on substance.
Despite jurisdictions around the world adopting rules to manage short stay accommodation, Airbnb gave evidence that WA should disregard these precedents. Major international cities such as San Francisco (the birthplace of Airbnb), Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Paris, New York and Barcelona have adopted proper rules in response to the problems that unapproved short stay accommodation creates.
Airbnb also failed to address the extent to which the platform is being used by commercial operators with multiple properties being presented as ‘mum and dad’ home hosts.
Key questions that remain unanswered include;
Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO Bradley Woods said Airbnb is a booking site that lists short stay accommodation, the majority of which avoid the rules, regulations and taxes that approved accommodation providers are already meeting.
“The AHA has no issue with genuine, hosted home sharing however it is the commercial, un-approved listings we have a problem with,” Mr Woods said.
“There are too many jobs and Western Australian small businesses at risk for a platform like Airbnb to continue to deliberately sidestep the rules set for other accommodation providers.”
Ends – Further information: David De Garis 0412 577 567