Hospitality industry pushes for Airbnb providers to be regulated

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There are calls from the hospitality industry for the Government to step in and regulate the Airbnb private bed booking service.

Rachael Shadbolt of Hospitality NZ says basic things like safety and quality need to be ensured.
Source: Breakfast

Rachael Shadbolt of Hospitality NZ, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said Airbnb providers should have to follow the same rules and regulations as hotels and motels.

"A lot of people have, rather than earning a little bit of money on the side, it's become quite a commercial enterprise for them and when they start stepping into that zone they are very much competing with the hospitality sector," she said.

Queenstown in particular is struggling with the issue, as beds there are in hot demand and locals are finding it hard to even find a place to rent, Ms Shadbolt said.

Letters were recently sent to 800 Queenstown residents who were determined to have rented out beds using Airbnb for more than 90 nights in a year.

Anything over 90 nights per year makes it a commercial operation, Ms Shadbolt said.

"There's the duty of care requirement ... are these homes actually set up for guests to stay in? Are there clear evacuation routes? All those things that hotels and motels take incredible seriously."

Ms Shadbolt said commercially operating Airbnb providers should also be paying a targeted tourism tax.

"We aren't opposing Airbnb - it's actually great when people have more choice ... what we're saying is that we want to make sure that the Airbnb offering is a quality offering ... and that they're contributing to tourism."

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