The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Western Australia is calling stricter regulations for online short stay accommodation providers such as Airbnb.
The AHA’s Western Australia sect would like to see the online players be subject to the same regulations as the licensed short stay sector (such as hotels and bed and breakfasts).
Bradley Woods, the CEO of the AHA Western Australia sect, said the inequality that exists between regulated and unregulated accommodation needs to be addressed.
According to AHA, Western Australia has seen unprecedented growth in unregistered short stay accommodation.
“Online booking platforms present themselves as providers of ‘shared’ accommodation, yet the majority of properties are for entire homes or apartments and bypass the licensing, taxation and regulatory requirements imposed on traditional accommodation providers,” the association said in a statement.
While this remains unregulated, the AHA claims companies like Airbnb are threatening the viability of traditional accommodation providers who play by the rules and jeopardising employment and training outcomes.
“It has become abundantly clear that ‘sharing’ platforms are simply not what they purport to be and are instead platforms that help some providers bypass the rules and regulations that hotels and B&B’s are expected to abide by,” Woods said.
The AHA is proposing a simple 5 Point Plan that balances the benefit for tourism from genuine home sharing but protects WA’s hotel industry and the thousands of jobs it supports.
1. Only a host’s primary residence may be listed for sharing.
2. Listing of entire properties for stays under 14 days prohibited.
3. Harmonise fire, safety, building code and insurance requirements with hotel industry.
4. Home sharing properties must be registered, to enable compliance monitoring.
5. Registration fee payable, to fund administration and compliance monitoring.
“In the absence of any meaningful regulation, online short stay accommodation platforms that list unregistered properties are not just disrupting, but diseasing the hotel industry,” Woods said.
“The AHA supports genuine shared, hosted accommodation however some online platforms moved away from this business model long ago and now compete directly with hotels.”
“The numbers speak for themselves with 61 per cent of listings for entire homes or apartments, mimicking hotel accommodation yet list properties that do not have to comply with the same regulations as regulated accommodation providers.”
“There are simply too many Western Australians who rely on the accommodation sector for their ongoing employment to allow this regulatory inequity to continue.”