Small towns, big bucks
Regional areas find popularity
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.”
Port Douglas homeowners with room to spare may be able to cash in.