Short-stay say

By Grace Jones | posted on January 18, 2019

THE Albany and Denmark chambers of commerce are preparing a joint submission to a Parliamentary inquiry into short-stay accommodation.

Denmark Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz Jack said her group conducted a survey of Denmark business owners, residents and short-stay accommodation providers.

“Airbnb is a part of the disruptive economy we live in,” she said.

“It’s not as black and white as saying Airbnb is good or bad for the economy.”

Ms Jack said there were arguments on both sides of the industry to regulate and to not regulate online services such as AirBnb.

“We need to open the debate on how to level the playing field for commercial accommodation operations and short-stay accommodation,” she said.

“Commercial operations have to pay heavier taxes on their business than people operating out of their homes.

“On the other hand short-stay accommodation brings more money to the town through tourism and also through the purchase of goods and services.”

She said there were plenty of questions surrounding short-stay accommodation that would hopefully be addressed during the inquiry.

“We need to ask ourselves how we would monitor the growth of Airbnb,” she said.

“How do we develop a sustainable tourism industry?

“It’s an interesting vortex of issues that need to be addressed.”

Last year, The Weekender revealed the State planning department was considering a “continuum of options” from “very light-handed” to full regulation to address issues arising from short-term stays in the era of the online sharing economy (‘Short-stay spectrum’, 22 November).

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry Acting CEO Michael Clark said Ms Jack was the driving force behind the submission.

“Seeing how Airbnb affects commercial operations and small business operators is definitely an eye opening experience,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see how it all goes with potential future regulation.”