Airbnb injects $90m into Queenstown & Wanaka’s economies

Date: 14th June 2018

Guests staying in short stay holiday accommodation provided by the online platform Airbnb, contributed around $88.6 million to the Queenstown Lakes District economy in 2017. This is according to a report recently released by Deloittes.

short stay visitor accommodaiton Queenstown

The Airbnb effect

The ‘Airbnb’ effect is widespread in the region. A whopping 203,000 guests, booked 198,000 nights in the Queenstown Lakes District, creating the equivalent of 713 fulltime jobs.

Around three-quarters of Airbnb guest expenditure is on items other than accommodation, such as eating out, entertainment, activities, transport and groceries.

Positive effects

According to Brent Thomas, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy Australia and New Zealand, “Airbnb is an economic shot in the arm for family budgets and local communities across New Zealand. The Airbnb community is helping locals earn extra income, turbocharge the economy and create more local jobs.”

This view is reinforced by Linda Meade, Deloitte Access Economics partner who says, “We’ve found that people using the Airbnb service are helping to drive growth in the tourism economy, increase competition in the accommodation sector, and benefiting consumers in terms of choice. And Airbnb’s contribution in terms of direct and indirect jobs shouldn’t be underestimated.”

If done properly, Brent Thomas believes Airbnb could make communities more vibrant and add to the whole flavour of a community. ”It’s about respectful, responsible tourism.”

Negative effects

The Queenstown Lakes district council acknowledges that, despite the positive economic benefits, the holiday accommodation industry also negatively impacts the resort, particularly on housing availability and affordability. They estimate 2700 homes have been removed from the long-term rental market.

“It does take away houses that otherwise people could live in, and finding accommodation for the itinerant workforce is hard these days,” says Mayor, Jim Boult.

There are also community issues relating to Airbnb, such as noise levels. “Airbnb listings are, in many cases, located in suburban neighbourhoods – meaning that there is potential for conflicting views. Appropriate regulation can help address these concerns to ensure that individual players do not negatively affect neighbours and amenity,” the Deloitte report says.

National effect

It’s not just the Queenstown Lakes District seeing the economic effects from Airbnb guests, there is an impact on the whole New Zealand economy. Findings from the Deloittes Report show:

  • Airbnb guests spent approximately $781.4 million in New Zealand in 2017 and around three-quarters of Airbnb guest expenditure is on items other than accommodation, such as groceries, transport, shopping and entertainment.
  • In 2017, the Airbnb community contributed around $660 million to the New Zealand economy supporting 6,006 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • In 2017, the Airbnb community in New Zealand hosted 1.4 million guests for more than 1.5 million nights.
  • Around two-thirds of Airbnb’s 1.4 million guests who visited New Zealand in 2017 were from overseas.

Source: Airbnb Citizen

More about short stay holiday accommodation

5 considerations for short-term holiday house rental

Earning Income from Airbnb, Bookabach and other Accommodation Sites

Posted in: Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka