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Insight Eight: Regulating Short-Stay Accommodation in Tasmania: Issues to consider and options for reform

Julia Verdouw and Richard Eccleston

Institute report on balancing housing needs with the rise of short-stay accommodation in Tasmania.

Professor Richard Eccleston
Image: Professor Richard Eccleston

The rapid growth of short-stay accommodation has been a win for travellers, property owners and investors in Tasmania, but has contributed to the State’s significant housing challenges, the latest report released today by the Institute for the Study of Social Change has revealed.

The report Insight Eight: Regulating Short-Stay Accommodation in Tasmania, by Research Fellow Dr Julia Verdouw and Institute Director Professor Richard Eccleston, highlights the winners and losers of the State’s short-stay accommodation, and recommendations on how best to manage the sector for all Tasmanians.

With Airbnb now offering more than six million short-term accommodation listings across 191 countries, Dr Verdouw said Tasmania’s Airbnb-style accommodation, including bed and breakfast establishments, enjoyed a strong growth with an eight per cent jump in visitor numbers. Dr Verdouw said:

Dr Julia Verdouw
Image: Dr Julia Verdouw

Tasmania’s tourism sector has grown quickly and become increasingly important to the state with total visitor numbers rising by four per cent to 1.32 million. On average, these visitors are staying longer and spending more.

“The question facing the state is how to develop an effective regulatory framework that embraces the opportunities the sector offers, while dealing with the challenges it has helped create.

“Tasmania faces significant housing challenges, including an acute shortage of affordable long-term rental accommodation, particularly in Greater Hobart.”

Professor Eccleston said the report’s five key policy recommendations are aimed at making a positive contribution to debate in the Tasmanian community, the deliberations of the Legislative Council Select Committee inquiry into short stay accommodation and the Short Stay Accommodation Bill 2018 being considered by state parliament. Professor Eccleston said:

There is evidence that carefully designed regulation would have little impact on the growth of the short-stay sector and wider visitor economy but could improve housing outcomes for Tasmanians.

By drawing on lessons emerging in other parts of the world, the state can balance the need for an adequate and affordable rental sector, public housing and a sustainable accommodation industry in private homes.

Read the full report (PDF 1.3MB)

Read the Appendix (PDF 2.6MB)

Institute for the Study of Social Change

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