Hosts op­pose coun­cil push for tourism levy

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - Stu­art Cum­ming stu­art.cum­ming@sc­

AIRBNB host Vicki Lowe says pay­ing a tourism levy for pro­vid­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion in her Noosav­ille home would be un­fair.

Mrs Lowe said she had been fol­low­ing news cov­er­age of a push by lo­cal gov­ern­ments, led by Noosa Coun­cil, to have ac­com­mo­da­tion hosts on sites such as Airbnb con­trib­ute to a tourism levy.

She and her hus­band have been let­ting out a room in their home since March and have found very few guests to be hol­i­day-mak­ers bound for Noosa.

“We are not walk­ing dis­tance to the shops or the beach,” Mrs Lowe said.

“Ev­ery­one who stays with us has to have a car.”

She said guests were mainly back­pack­ers on their way through to Her­vey Bay or shift work­ers such as hospi­tal or am­bu­lance staff in the re­gion look­ing for cheap ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“It is mainly peo­ple trav­el­ling who call in to stay with us.”

She said she paid fees to Airbnb al­ready and there were ben­e­fits to the lo­cal econ­omy from the ser­vice she was pro­vid­ing.

“At the end of the day they (guests) are still spend­ing money in Noosa.”

Fel­low Noosav­ille hosts Gary and Judy, who de­clined to pub­lish their sur­name for fear of ret­ri­bu­tion from Noosa Coun­cil, started ad­ver­tis­ing their bun­ga­low on the pop­u­lar ac­com­mo­da­tion site about six weeks ago.

“We have al­ready con­trib­uted to tourism, through rates,” Judy said.

“It is the coun­cil want­ing to get a piece of the pie.”

She said all in­come from Airbnb was elec­tron­i­cally recorded so she would be pay­ing tax on that too.

“We are just a small player tap­ping into tourism I guess.”

She said hosts boosted tourism by pro­vid­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions when re­sorts and ho­tels were full.

“The peo­ple who are stay­ing here are spend­ing up.”

She said there was also a feel­ing among res­i­dents that Noosa was be­ing “loved to death”.

“One day they are go­ing to find peo­ple don’t come here be­cause it is too busy.”

Fel­low Airbnb host Alana, from Sun­rise Beach, said she had no prob­lem with Noosa Coun­cil en­forc­ing a tourism levy on short term rental providers.

“It is a con­tri­bu­tion used to pro­mote the re­gion and this can only be a good thing for the com­mu­nity as a whole,” Alana said.


UN­FAIR: Vicki Lowe is op­posed to the push by Noosa Coun­cil to make Airbnb hosts con­trib­ute to the tourism levy.

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