Recognising the sharing economy in Australia

Airbnb hosts in Australia have been welcoming guests into their homes since 2008. Over the past eight years, Australian residents have built a welcoming, vibrant Airbnb community, sharing unique experiences with travellers from around the world.

Today’s report released by Grattan Institute endorses the sharing economy and recognises the tremendous economic contribution peer-to-peer platforms, such as Airbnb, provide to families, communities and local businesses throughout Australia.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Peer-to-peer companies, such as Airbnb, not only make it easier to find places to stay, they change, they change, even revolutionise, the commercial accommodation experience.
  • Travellers gain the opportunity to stay in private homes and meet local people they would never have otherwise met.
  • Airbnb expand the range of choice for travellers, provide extra income for hosts, and can put otherwise idle real estate to valuable use.
  • Accommodation within the sharing economy can boost tourism and make it easier to manage temporary surges in accommodation demand – such as for a major sporting event or natural disasters.

These findings coincide with Airbnb’s view that there are a range of benefits associated with home sharing, including positive social and environmental impacts. For hosts, the economic benefit of Airbnb is often life-changing, and for cities, it is revitalising for neighbourhoods and small businesses alike.

As called out in the report, businesses like Airbnb have expanded the traditional holiday rental market and boosted tourism in a positive way; travellers now have more choice when it comes to finding a place to stay, as well as the opportunity to meet local people they would never have met.

The Grattan Institute report highlights the need for governments to provide the right regulatory framework for Australia to reap benefits of the sharing economy – and we agree. One of things we consistently hear from our hosts and councils around Australia is that rules governing home-sharing are sometimes difficult to interpret and are out-dated. Some of these rules were written long before the internet even existed. For this reason, we are continuing to have discussions with government at all levels about fair rules that allow for home sharing.

For further information, the full report can be found here.