Airbnb helps bottlenecks
‘‘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.