I’m not a travel bug and the few times I did I always stayed in the same place. But with a small budget, the cost of accommodation is no longer cheap even my favourite destinations in Asia. More than that I want a feeling of home in where I stay. Enter Airbnb. Problem solved. Now here’s one idea I should explore taking to the Philippines.
From the Sydney Morning Herald
Tourists find there’s something in the Airbnb
Robert Upe, Lane Sainty
Published: February 8, 2014
Sydneysiders are cashing in on Airbnb, one of the world’s biggest online travel phenomena that allows householders to rent out a bed, room or their entire house to visitors.
Some hosts are earning thousands of dollars a year.
”Initially I did it for the money,” said Warren Smith who rents out a bedroom in his converted warehouse apartment in Redfern for $89 a night.
”I’m semi-retired, so it helps fill in the gaps financially. But it has also become an enjoyable process. It’s almost like I am travelling without travelling, because the world is coming to me.”
Major events like the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, which kicked off on Friday, and Vivid Sydney attract tens of thousands of visitors from overseas and interstate, helping to create a windfall for Airbnb hosts as rooms fill up in hotels and other traditional accommodation.
”There’s no doubt major events like the Mardi Gras do drive our business,” an Airbnb spokeswoman said. ”We also have big spikes around Christmas and New Year. On New Year’s Eve 2013 we had over 250,000 people staying on Airbnb around the world.”
An economic impact study by BIS Shrapnel reports that Airbnb supported $214 million in economic activity in Sydney in one year and that on average local hosts earn $4505 per annum. They rent their premises for an average of 37 nights per year and 60 per cent use the income to pay their mortgage.
On the day of the Mardi Gras parade down Oxford Street on March 1, Airbnb has hundreds of properties available, ranging from about $65 to more than $2000 a night. They include trendy inner-city studios, beachside apartments and outer-suburban family homes.
There’s even a motor-yacht for $1000 a night that can be moored anywhere on Sydney Harbour.
Mr Smith said he had been full almost every night since he first listed his warehouse last October.
”I have been so busy that I even blocked out a weekend in January to have a break.
”But I am enjoying the people I am meeting much more than I imagined. They have all been like minded, because I guess they have looked at my profile before booking.”
Airbnb has 500,000 listings in 34,000 cities, including tree houses and castles. The site has about 10,000 listings in Australia, 3200 in Sydney. The number of listings has more than doubled in the past year.
Rodger Powell, managing director of Tourism Accommodation Australia, said the rooms offered by Airbnb should be subject to the same regulations as other kinds of short-stay accommodation.
”Our concerns are around the things governments expect hotels to abide by – fire alarms, fire exits, lighting, accessibility for disabled people,” he said.
Even during huge events like Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve, there is no dearth of short-stay accommodation that justifies unregulated rooms, he said.
”There are some nights where every hotel room in the city is full … But these nights are few and far between,” Mr Powell said.
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/tourists-find-theres-something-in-the-airbnb-20140207-3278u.html