AIRBNB is proving popular for hosts and tourists in Townsville as the city embraces the platform that has been a success all over the world.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb is an online service which enables people to lease or rent short- term accommodation.
Natasha Coughlan from Kirwan has been a host for 10 months after first using the site and finding accommodation for her family when holidaying in Japan last year.
With a family of five to accommodate, Natasha said it was easier and much cheaper to find accommodation on Airbnb than booking two interconnected rooms at a hotel.
Natasha offers a four- bedroom fully furnished house in Kirwan on the site and is delighted with the response.
“We learnt the rules and regulations surrounding Airbnb and it has worked out really well for us.
“We receive a higher income than renting it permanently,” she said.
“As long as your Airbnb is professional and you go above and beyond you will always have guests.”
Being a host has brought in about $ 6000 this year for Natasha who believes her success is due to the market need in the area.
“There is such a call for furnished short and long term residences in Townsville — people just driving through need a night here and there, or lots of business people send crews up for a range of different things.”
Emily Westpha is also an Airbnb host, with a private room at her house in West End available for singles or couples.
Ms Westpha said she had met some really interesting people and made some great friends through her visitors, while giving her income a boost.
“You have to enjoy meeting new people and also trust in the basic goodness of people,” she said.
Director of Tourism and Events at Townsville Enterprise Bridget Woods said Airbnb was a service in demand by consumers and by travellers.
“The option needs to be available for visitors into our city,” she said.
“Many hotels in our region are also using the platform to promote their offering.”
A Townsville search on Airbnb comes up with 80 listings ranging from $ 56 a night for a private room to $ 433 a night for a four- bedroom villa.
The site is definitely in use, as a search for one night’s accommodation tonight finds only 22 of the listings available.
Registration and account creation on Airbnb is free with pricing determined by the host, along with descriptions of the property, availability and any requirements or expectations of visitors.
HAPPY HOST: Natasha Coughlan is having great success on Airbnb.