Small towns, big bucks

Re­gional ar­eas find pop­u­lar­ity

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Sue Neales

HOME­OWN­ERS in Dou­glas Shire could be sit­ting on a gold­mine as Aussies look to head to the trop­ics for quick week­end get­aways.

A global sur­vey re­leased re­cently by the home-shar­ing provider re­veals more than half of its bookings in Aus­tralia are now for stays in coun­try towns or coastal re­sorts such as Port Dou­glas and Moss­man.

Aus­tralia is the only ma­jor coun­try in the world where re­gional Airbnb stays out­num­ber city bookings, ac­count­ing for 56 per cent, or 1.7 mil­lion guest ar­rivals, last year.

While for­eign vis­i­tors are flock­ing to our ma­jor cities, lo­cals are fly­ing in­ter­state for mini-breaks and fu­elling the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of lazy long week­ends in the coun­try.

The most pop­u­lar re­gional des­ti­na­tions for Airbnb trav­ellers in Queens­land were Cairns and sur­rounds, Noosa and the Gold Coast.

Re­gional and coastal Queens­land ben­e­fited most from Airbnb vis­i­tors last year, with $160 mil­lion spent out­side Bris­bane.

In re­gional Aus­tralia, 1.7 mil­lion Airbnb guests stay­ing an av­er­age of 1.8 nights last year spent $287m on ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Over­all, ac­cord­ing to the Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics re­port on the eco­nomic ef­fects of Airbnb in Aus­tralia, the vis­i­tors con­trib­uted a to­tal of $410m to re­gional economies and helped cre­ate 3777 jobs.

“The re­al­ity is that Airbnb’s beat­ing heart is in fact Aus­tralia’s tra­di­tional heart­land – re­gional and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties,” said Airbnb Aus­tralia man­ager Sam McDon­agh.

“For Airbnb, the ma­jor­ity of our list­ings and the ma­jor­ity of our guest ar­rivals are now out­side the metro ar­eas.

“For lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties who have been do­ing it tough, Airbnb has been an eco­nomic life­line, help­ing put more money in the back pock­ets of ev­ery­day Aus­tralians and re­gional small busi­nesses and spread­ing the ben­e­fits of the tourism boom more widely.”

Pic­ture: MARC MCCORMACK

Port Dou­glas home­own­ers with room to spare may be able to cash in.

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