Airbnb is “encouraging” regulations after AHA calls for change

Airbnb is “encouraging” regulations after AHA calls for change

Airbnb has said that it is open to government regulations, after the Australian Hotels Association (ATA) Western Australia said regulation discrepancies needed to be addressed last week.

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).

In an interview this week on Perth radio station 6PR, Airbnb’s Australia and New Zealand country manager, Sam McDonagh, supported short stay accommodation being used for genuine home and room sharing.

During the interview, Airbnb said it did not encourage the practice of purchasing an investment property and putting it on Airbnb.

“We do not encourage people to buy an investment property and put it on AirBnB,” McDonagh said.

Last week, the AHA called for Airbnb to be better regulated – in a similar way to hotels and bed and breakfasts.

“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.

This week, McDonagh hit back and said the company is encouraging regulation to ensure people aren’t using investment properties as Airbnb’s.

“The regulation we are encouraging, we absolutely believe we want to talk about the sharing economy and people like sharing the homes that they live in and that’s primarily what we do,” he said.

Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO Bradley Woods said he welcomed McDonagh’s endorsement of regulating Airbnb.

“The AHA welcomes Airbnb comments that they are interested in supporting regulations that encourage genuine home sharing,” Woods said.

“Genuine home sharing is what many of these online platforms originally facilitated however they have clearly morphed into something else entirely and now primarily facilitate the letting of entire apartments and houses to complete directly against regulated, taxpaying bed and breakfast venues and hotels.”

“This is having a detrimental impact on regulated accommodation providers and jeopardising training and employment opportunities in WA. Genuine home sharing is ok and supported by the AHA – the mimicking of hotels is not.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at

    Latest comments
    1. His point surely is that investors purchasing multiple properties spread through one or more apartment buildings and running them as a business is having a distorting effect. This is not home sharing. There is also a danger that the property valuations, which include potential returns on the ‘Airbnb market’, will be capitalised into the price of the property. There are wider concerns about diverting residential property away form the residential market than the hotel lobby. The hotel lobby simply has the capacity to raise its issues, while many others in the housing sector do not.

    2. …. aha says – genuine home sharing is ok, the mimicking of hotels is not… that’s funny because when you ask people where they stay on their last travel they either answer in a hotel or airbnb property… clearly airbnb properties are not perceived as hotels…

aha airbnb Australian Hotel Association WA

Latest News

  • Attractions

Wackadoo! Bluey’s World is set to open in Brisbane

Wackadoo! The eagerly anticipated Bluey’s World is set to open in Brisbane, on 7 November, offering families an unforgettable Bluey adventure with tickets on sale from tomorrow. Bluey’s World is a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience that will take visitors into the Heeler’s iconic family home, backyard and beyond – for real life. Get ready to play […]

  • Destinations

Listening to whales, followed by Ales and Prawn Tails on the Sunshine Coast

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is preparing to welcome more than 40,000 humpback whales that are making their way up the Australian east coast on their annual migration. The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s premier whale tourism destinations, built on its long-established whale watching cruises and Sunreef’s pioneering Swim with Whales experience, which celebrates its 10th […]

  • Aviation
  • Travel Agents

Webjet relaunches partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale

Online travel agency Webjet has have relaunched their partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale, available until 2 June. To give customers a greater breadth of choice and price point, hundreds of new flight options to Aussie favourite destinations have been added, including Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok via AirAsia, AirAsiaX, Thai AirAsia […]

  • Luxury

Why luxury clients are opting for immersive experiences over material items

The Luxury Travel Collection’s (LTC) inaugural business owners Soiree took place on Hayman Island last week. The event saw luxury leaders gathering to find out more about the key trends shaping the industry. The Immersion Day, held on Thursday 16 May 2024, followed the growing luxury client trend of valuing immersive experiences over material items. […]

  • Conferences

Empowering underserved communities: Expedia Group’s drive for more inclusive travel

Expedia Group has used the EXPLORE conference at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas to highlight initiatives that empower underserved communities worldwide.   In a groundbreaking move towards fostering diversity and inclusion within the travel industry, Expedia’s Global Social Impact and Sustainability Team is dedicated to shaping a travel landscape that is safe, welcoming, and accessible […]

  • Cruise

P&O rescues Rotary volunteers after collapse of Air Vanuatu

P&O Cruises Australia has answered a plea for help from a group of young Australian Rotary volunteers, stranded in Vanuatu following the collapse of Air Vanuatu. The students, many of them teenagers from Albury, NSW, were volunteering for a youth project run by the Hive Rotary Club Australia when the airline abruptly cancelled all flights, […]

  • Destinations

Intrepid continues expansions with launch of first DMC in Jordan

Intrepid has increased its presence in the Middle East with the opening of its first destination management company in Jordan. Based in Amman, the local team will operate Intrepid’s range of nine experiential small group tours in Jordan from this summer, with a view to expanding the range for 2025 and beyond. Zina Bencheikh, managing […]

  • Appointments

Minor hotels appoints Puneet Dhawan to key Asia role

Global hotel owner and operator Minor Hotels has appointed Puneet Dhawan as head of Asia as the group plots its growth in Asia and India. From July, Dhawan will be responsible for the performance of all Minor Hotels properties in Asia, working in close collaboration with the Minor Hotels senior leadership team and will report […]

  • Appointments

Abercrombie & Kent and Crystal appoint Evon Ler to director of sales, Asia

Abercrombie & Kent Travel Group have announced that Evon Ler will join them in the new role of director of sales, Asia. She will work closely with Tony Archbold (VP, Sales, APAC, Crystal) and Susan Haberle (VP, Sales & Partnerships, APAC, A&K) with trade support across the region. Ler comes to the A&K family with more […]