Airbnb has provided interesting opportunities to hundreds of thousands of Australian people. By 2016, the homes that have been listed for Airbnb were in excess of 115,000. This means that all these listed properties give direct income to the owners in the form of accommodation fees. There are many more industries that have come to benefit as a spinoff from this mini economy. These include cleaning services, people offering concierge services, and the tourism industry. On the whole, this concept has had considerable impact on the Australian economy.
Airbnb Australia in Figures
According to an economic report prepared by Deloitte under commission from Airbnb, the industry in Australia grossed in $441 million on accommodation alone in the 2015-2016 season. This was from a total of 2.1 million different bookings throughout the country. The average cost of accommodation per night was $119 during that period. The total number of guests hosted under this program in the report year was a considerable 651,000. This translated to an equivalent of 1.1 million nights booked via the platform.
The more than 115,000 listed properties in Australia are found in more than 800 different towns and cities. This means that the service is available in virtually every part of Australia. The number is increasing every day, which means that competition is also becoming more and more stiff. Thus, the prime properties of earlier years may not be booked as often as they used to be. This, however, has not adversely affected revenues since there is also an increase in the number of guests.
The income generated from this business in other related areas is even higher than the money that comes from accommodation. New South Wales and Victoria are the leading regions in Airbnb listed homes. In Victoria, which as mentioned above is second in uptake in Australia, the income from meals, entertainment, and transport services related to Airbnb was $412 million. This amount is almost equal to the total amount generated from accommodation throughout Australia.
In the entire country, the total cost of food sold by restaurants has increased considerably to $544 million in 2015-2016. The reason for this is because in the previous years, during the peak tourist seasons, accommodation vacancies usually ran out this meant that the number of people using restaurant services was lower. Airbnb has increased the number of guests in the country owing to the increased accommodation capacity. These increased guests mean that the amount spent is higher. Visitors also spend less on accommodation in Airbnb homes than they would spend in hotels. This means two things. Firstly, that more people can afford to visit different places in Australia owing to increased affordability. Secondly, it also means that there is more disposable income from the savings made in accommodation to be used on food and other purchases.
On average an Airbnb host in Australia makes $4920 every year. Depending on location, there are certain hosts who do not need to do any other work as the homes in which they host guests make them considerable amounts of money.
Tourism as an industry has benefitted immensely from this business model. This is because 67% of guests in the homes are tourists. This means that those who would rather stay in home settings than in hotels can now go for holidays and enjoy their stay. Besides this, there are new tourism circuits that have opened up due to Airbnb. In the regions, renowned for their tourist attraction, investors have gone out of their ways to build hotels. These are areas where people generally like to visit. However, there are people with specific tastes for their tourism that have hitherto been shut out due to lack of facilities. This has changed with the listing of homes. A good example is the town of Petersham in which there are no hotels for the accommodation of tourists.
22% of guests visit the areas in which they take up these accommodations while visiting their families and friends. While these may not be categorized as tourists in the official records, their effects on the economy are the same as those of the tourists. This is because they pay for accommodation and they also use other services used by tourists, albeit to a lesser degree.
Airbnb allows guests to live the way real Australians live. This is as opposed to hotels, which generally have a generalized theme. This in itself becomes a type of cultural tourism, which is entirely different from viewing the sights and wildlife. This segment of tourism has grown tremendously as a result of the Airbnb concept. Cultural tourism is preferred because it allows guests to experience the country at a much deeper level when compared to other forms of tourism.
Domestic tourism has also benefitted immensely from this model. Slightly more than half of the guests who are accommodated in shared homes are Australians going to visit other parts of the country.
Airbnb vs Student Accommodation
Before Airbnb some hosts used to take in international and local students living far from their homes. Those who were in this venture admit that Airbnb is more profitable owing to the fact that guests in this setting are much cheaper to maintain than students. This means that the host ends up with more money with Airbnb than they would have if they hosted students.
Other Support Industries
Over and above the direct revenues attained from accommodation fees and payment for food, there are other auxiliary industries that benefit from Airbnb. These include the furniture industry since homeowners have to keep their furniture up to the standards that customers would appreciate. The hosts usually greet and welcome guests to their homes. Sometimes this is not possible owing to hosts having other commitments. In instances where this is the case, they have to employ people to act as concierges or hire Airbnb management companies. This leads to creation of jobs for other Australians.
Although Airbnb is in different parts of the world, Australia is one of the countries where it is has been highly successful. This is true to the Australian tradition of receiving new technologies. The success of this concept has led to a situation where the country has had to review some of its policies to accommodate the changes that have come from Airbnb. These policies include matters such as security, and tourism.