Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Airbnb Grows on Southern Downs

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Airbnb Grows on Southern Downs

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonno Colfs

IT'S a relatively new player in the short-term accommodation market but already Airbnb has become a popular option for holiday- makers and aspiring businesspeople alike.

Airbnb has become a multi-billion dollar in a few short years and there are more than 115,000 properties listed across Australia in 800 towns and cities.

These properties average 15 bookings a year and are worth an average $4920 in annual income for their hosts.

On the Southern Downs, the idea of making a little extra income by providing short-term accommodation is growing in popularity with 30 locations listed on the website.

One of these locals jumping on board the Airbnb revolution is businesswoman Yve Stocks, who runs Pitstop Lodge and the newly-refurbished Area 51 in Canning St.

Ms Stocks said she resisted joining Airbnb for five years before finally signing up 12 months ago.

"At first I didn't think it was the right thing to do," she said.

"But I changed my mind over time.

"It's not the get-rich quick idea that some people might think it is.

"Everything must be registered with council and be compliant with all local accommodation rules and regulations.

"It's mostly about safety, fire regulations, just the same as any hotel or motel might need to be."

Ms Stocks said she found the Airbnb business easy to work with.

"When I finally decided to list on the website, it was very easy," she said. "It took only a few hours and I was done.

"When people book, they pay direct to the website and the host, in this case me, is paid when the customer has completed their stay."

Ms Stocks said she thought the business had its benefits. "As long as people understand the need to register," she said.

"The council cracked down six months ago and sent a letter to everyone in the region listed on the website that wasn't registered with council.

"All of these safety regulations and compliance, stem as a result of the Childers Backpacker fire of 2000."

Ms Stocks said her Airbnb listing had amounted to more business.

"I get a couple of Airbnb bookings every month and would probably get more if I didn't have solid bookings from repeat customers and through my website," she said. …

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