Airbnb helps bot­tle­necks

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

‘‘The tourism sec­tor needs to get over it­self and ex­tend an olive branch.’’

The tourism sec­tor needs to ‘‘get over it­self’’ and em­brace Airbnb as one way to help ease ac­com­mo­da­tion bot­tle­necks in New Zealand, a se­nior econ­o­mist says.

In­fo­met­ri­ces se­nior econ­o­mist Benje Pat­ter­son said like it or not, pri­vate ac­com­mo­da­tion was here to stay and it was time stake­hold­ers in the tourism sec­tor in­vited Peer-to-Peer ac­com­mo­da­tion providers to have a seat ‘‘at the big kids’ ta­ble’’.

Pat­ter­son has com­pleted a re­port analysing data in­clud­ing from Airbnb and Statis­tics New Zealand that shows list­ings ac­count for 10 per cent of Queen­stown-Lakes’ dwelling stock and gen­er­ated $17.2 mil­lion in­come for the March 2017 year.

‘‘Peer-to-Peer ac­com­mo­da­tion providers are treated to a pre­dictable cho­rus of com­plaint from the com­mer­cial ac­com­mo­da­tion sec­tor who ar­gue an un­reg­u­lated mar­ket place will de­liver in­fe­rior ex­pe­ri­ences. But these com­plaints have lit­tle sub­stance. P2P providers al­ready self-reg­u­late them­selves, with a peer re­view­ing sys­tem...In­stead of fight­ing a move­ment that is al­ready mak­ing a valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the New Zealand econ­omy, the tourism sec­tor needs to get over it­self and ex­tend an olive branch to P2P ac­com­mo­da­tion providers.’’

Airbnb’s ’’ex­plo­sive’’ growth had been in­te­gral in help­ing ease ac­com­mo­da­tion bot­tle­necks in the New Zealand tourism sec­tor over the past year.

There were around 20,000 list­ings on Airbnb in New Zealand and hosts earned a to­tal of $55m over the March 2017 year. Of the $55m spent on Airbnb ac­com­mo­da­tion in New Zealand over the past year, $22m was spent in Auck­land and $17m was spent in Queen­stown.

‘‘The num­ber of Airbnb list­ings in Queen­stown-Lakes is in­cred­i­ble when one con­sid­ers that there are only around 20,000 dwellings in the district...Airbnb’s claim of 2000 list­ings trans­lates to about 10 per cent of Queen­stownLakes’ dwelling stock. By com­par­i­son, Auck­land’s 7000 list­ings rep­re­sent ap­prox­i­mately 1.3 per cent of the 540,000 dwellings.‘‘

There were just un­der one mil­lion Airbnb guest nights in New Zealand over the year to March 2017, he said. Of those, al­most 200,000 were in the Queen­stown-Lakes. How­ever, Airbnb guest nights are equiv­a­lent to just 2.6 per cent of the com­mer­cial ac­com­mo­da­tion in New Zealand.

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