Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy

Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy
Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy

 Short-term letting platform Airbnb says it can cure the ailing Northern Territory economy.

The peer-to-peer accommodation platform’s economic benefits for Australia were recently captured in a Deloitte Access Economics report that said Airbnb guests contributed $1.6 billion in GDP and supported more than 14,000 jobs.  

Airbnb’s head of public policy for Australia and New Zealand, Brent Thomas recently said Airbnb has become an economic lifeline for everyday Territorians and small businesses, according to the NT News.

“With the cost or delay of having to build new accommodation options, Airbnb is helping the Territory host more guests and grow the tourism pie,” Thomas said.

“We are injecting more than $6.5 million into the economy and creating more than 50 local jobs,” he said, while pitching for the need for fair and progressive rules for home sharing in the Northern Territory.

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Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy

He questioned Tourism NT’s Vision 2020 strategy that excludes using short-term accommodation providers such as Airbnb.

According to Tourism NT’s Vision 2020,  the state will need an additional 205-225 hotel rooms per annum to 2020 to keep occupancy at viable and sustainable levels.

“The strategy focuses on increasing the supply of traditional commercial accommodation,” Airbnb said.

“Yet, the strategy doesn’t consider the idea of using short-term accommodation, like Airbnb, to fill the gap like other cities around Australia and the world are doing.

He said it does not mention the need to expand the supply of short-term accommodation, adding that states such as South Australia and Tasmania are already benefitting after embracing Airbnb.

Every state in Australia has different rules for short-term accommodation.

The Deloitte report said Airbnb could serve as a potential model or means by which the Northern Territory could access different markets, and leverage the opportunity presented by a global platform.

"Airbnb guests tend to spend more than average tourists, with Airbnb and TRA survey data showing that Airbnb guests in Darwin spend 53 per cent more on average. These spending tendencies may assist the government to grow the value of the tourism sector," it said.

Click to enlarge

Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy

Click to enlarge

Airbnb says it can boost sluggish NT economy


The report, Economic effects of Airbnb in Australia, found that of the total 2.12 million Airbnb guests in 2015-16, NT’s share was only 8,800 guests, who spent a total of 18,000 nights. 

The average Airbnb guest spent more than $282 per day in the NT on things like, food services, shopping and leisure; Airbnb hosts in the NT earned a median income of $4,470 in 2015-16; The top 3 destinations for Airbnb guests were Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine. 

The same report also said that South Australia’s economy got a $38 million economic boost from Airbnb in the 2016 financial year, with guests on the shared accommodation platform spending more than the average tourist.


Northern Territory Airbnb

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