Airbnb denounces new plan for vacation rentals in Byron Bay

A new world of travel with Airbnb. Video / Provided

Byron Shire Council’s new plan to limit properties to just 90 days of short-term vacation rentals has drawn backlash from Airbnb.

The plan was put in place to free up more affordable accommodation in the tourist hotspot, which has seen its popularity surge as Covid travel restrictions were in place.

The booking giant has urged the council to reconsider its proposal, imploring the plan is “highly unlikely” to work.

“A 90-night cap will put Byron Shire guests on a very unequal footing and ultimately harm guests, local businesses and area communities by reducing choice, availability and affordability. accommodation,” Michael Crosby, head of public policy for Airbnb in Australia, said.

Airbnb data revealed that short-term rentals in the Byron Shire hotspot are rented out on average 57 days per year, with each property earning an average of $21,433 per year.

Crosby said the move was unlikely to increase the availability of affordable housing, but could have “irreversible consequences for the city’s economy.”

Statewide legislation currently limits properties to 180 non-hosted short-term rental days per year.

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said it was possible the global platform saw the move as “a threat”, but remained adamant that the lack of long-term rental properties in the area was the biggest problem to solve.

“It’s the kind of smoke and mirrors you expect (from Airbnb),” he said via Yahoo News Australia.

“There have been a lot of ironic comments about how this is going to reduce affordability and of course they only talk about accommodation for tourists and visitors.

“There is such a dearth of long-term rental opportunities. We simply cannot afford to lose more housing.

“There is simply no other place to live. It’s not like a city where you can just move to the neighboring suburbs. In Byron, there are no options like that.

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