Research survey looks at pros and cons of holiday letting

Researchers from Southern Cross University (SCU) are giving residents a chance to voice their opinions on the future of Short-term Holiday Letting (STHL) in the region.

A team of researchers, led by Dr Tania von der Heidt from SCU’s School of Business and Tourism, are investigating residents’ views of STHL across all local government areas (LGAs) of the North Coast. The survey is being delivered through a partnership with Destination North Coast and the results will assist Lismore City and other local councils with future decision-making.

The North Coast of NSW comprises many tourist hubs with the sector valued at approximately $12.5 million per day. Even though tourism generates 9.4% of regional jobs and supports over 7000 businesses (Destination North Coast, 2019), the North Coast faces many tourism pressures, not least from the burgeoning peer-to-peer accommodation platforms.

STHL – including Airbnb, its largest, fastest-growing platform – has become increasingly significant within the tourism industry. This sector often raises polarised opinions within the community.

For some, STHL provides employment opportunities directly through accommodating visitors or through the jobs created by increased visitation to the area. For others it may be the vehicle that enables them to remain in the area or their residence.

Alternatively, others may have been impacted negatively through increased rental prices, reduced availability of rental accommodation or issues related to having an STHL property in their vicinity.

SCU researchers and Destination North Coast believe that residents sharing their experiences will facilitate a better understanding of the impacts of STHL in the local region.

This new knowledge will contribute to informed civic decision-making. For instance, councils across NSW may soon be considering a short-term letting cap of 180 days for non-hosted properties. Such a policy amendment is now possible under the whole-of-government framework for STHL in NSW.

Previous research in parts of the North Coast has shown that most residents perceived both positive and negative impacts on the community through STHL. Research findings have shown most people weren’t against it – they simply wanted more regulation to make it fair play for everyone.

The findings from this research will provide in-depth insights that can inform strategies, planning, policies and regulation that can guide future management.

The survey is open until 29 September 2019.

Source: Lismore City Council