Hosts oppose council push for tourism levy
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.