New Zealand the most popular Airbnb market in the world

The AM Show 31/05/2018

It’s official. Accommodation website Airbnb has exploded into something quite valuable to the New Zealand economy.

A Deloitte report has revealed that Airbnb rakes in $660 million a year for the New Zealand economy. 

Guests spent more than $780 million in the country last year, accounting for 2.8 percent of all tourism expenditure across New Zealand.

The international home-sharing service allows anyone with a spare room or home to rent it out for one or more nights. Rent a Whanagamata bach for $60 something a night, or a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Wellington for the same price.

Tourists are able to get a more “authentic” New Zealand experience, while locals are able to profit from their extra space. Some say it's a win-win for everyone.

Brent Thomas, head of Airbnb policy, told The AM Show that New Zealand is the most popular Airbnb market in the whole world.

He attributes Airbnb’s success to a number of things, but one that many people aren’t travelling in the traditional way their parents or grandparents did.

“[Tourists] want to live like a local, they want to stay out of big tourist areas.”

Local councils have even taken notice of Airbnb’s success, with Auckland proposing to tax the service and Queenstown capping the number of nights offered by absentee owners per year.

Yesterday, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced a targeted rate on accommodation or a 'bed tax' will be extended to include Airbnb properties in the city.

The targeted rate would only include properties that are rented out for over 29 days a year.

But Hospitality New Zealand argued that such a rate should apply to all Airbnb accommodation, as the service is in direct competition with hotels.

The Auckland tax could be seen as soon as in the next financial year. 

Watch the full video with Brent Thomas above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone..