Airbnb says tourism levy is needed

Airbnb is calling for the Australian Government to introduce a tourism levy to fund housing and community projects, along with a series of other measures to help promote sustainable tourism growth and strengthen communities.

THE accommodation platform said it is willing to collaborate with the state and territory governments to support local councils in establishing a tourism levy, which would apply to all accommodation providers on an opt-in basis.

“We believe tourism levies are a fair and sustainable way to raise revenue for local communities, especially in areas of high tourism, as they broaden the revenue base without imposing an additional burden on local ratepayers or businesses,” the company stated, adding that the levy is necessary to support “much-needed” community infrastructure and services, such as key worker housing projects.

Airbnb also suggested the implementation of mandatory state-wide registration schemes, which it says is necessary to create transparency over the number and location of listings so that government can understand the industry and make informed policy decisions.

Additionally, the company advocated for codes of conduct in every state and territory to help outline “clear standards of behaviour” for the industry, including guests, hosts, and community, along with the review of eviction protections to ensure that long-term renters have “appropriate protection”.

The company also argued that solutions must be found to tackle the housing affordability crisis, including finding ways to grow supply and tackle the issue of empty dwelling and rooms.

“We’re also seeing the effects of increasing housing pressures on our platform, with more people turning to hosting as a way to battle rising costs of living and growing mortgage repayments,” Airbnb’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Susan Wheeldon, highlighted.

“Airbnb remains committed to being a constructive and collaborative partner to governments and communities across Australia so that more people can share in the benefits of travel.”

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