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Supporting the sharing economy a step in the right direction

Release Date: 19/10/2016
The Sydney Business Chamber has welcomed the findings of a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into the regulation of short term holiday letting suggesting it is a step in the right direction to support new tourism opportunities emerging from the sharing and digital economy.

Executive Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, Patricia Forsythe said, “The Committee has recognised the practical reality that hosting has become a big part of the tourist offering in Sydney.”

“This review was really a case of regulatory catch up and the balanced approach taken by the Committee should be welcomed across the tourism sector.

“Hosting platforms such as Airbnb are alive and well across the world and have the potential to grow tourism opportunities and can play an important role in meeting periods of peak tourist demand.

“Rather than seeing this as undercutting traditional tourist accommodation research suggests the sharing economy is introducing new people to travelling and of course visitors spend their money in many different ways.

“Putting a regulatory framework forward that can work across the City, rather than leaving decisions around hosting to individual councils is to be applauded and will ensure that regardless of whether hosts are operating in Bondi Road or Bourke Street the rules are the same.

“The suggested approach to demarcate hosts renting out their primary residence, an investment property or as a commercial operation through graded levels of regulation is sensible and reflects some of the concerns of sharing platforms raised by the wider accommodation sector.

“The terms of reference for this review were too narrow to consider it, but the Government does need to take a wider lens to the accommodation industry as bottlenecks in the planning process and inefficient regulation are taking the focus of these businesses away from giving a world class tourism offering.

“The ball is now firmly in the Government’s court to consider these recommendations and to develop an appropriate framework to support these platforms,” Mrs Forsythe said.

Media contact: Patricia Forsythe 0418 165 466

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