4 September 2019


Research Project Information Release


Short-Term Holiday Letting in Your CommunityBane or blessingHave your say!

Researchers from Southern Cross University (SCU) want to give Nambucca Shire Council residents a voice when it comes to the future of Short-Term Holiday Letting (STHL) in the area.

The North Coast of NSW comprises many tourist hubs with the sector valued at approximately $12.5 million per day. Even though tourism generates 9.4% of regional jobs and supports over 7,000 business (Destination North Coast, 2019), the North Coast faces many tourism pressures, not least from the burgeoning peer to peer accommodation platforms.

STHL including Airbnb, its largest, fastest-growing platform has become increasingly significant within the tourism industry.  This sector often raises polarised opinions within the community.

For some, short-term holiday letting provides employment opportunities both directly through accommodating visitors and through the jobs created by increased visitation to the area. For others it may be the vehicle that enables them to remain in the area or their residence.

Alternatively, others may have been impacted negatively through increased rental prices, reduced availability of rental accommodation or issues related to having a STHL property in their vicinity.

A team of researchers led by Dr Tania von der Heidt of the School of Business and Tourism, SCU, are investigating residents’ views of STHL, including Airbnb, across all local government areas (LGAs) of the North Coast. Through a partnership with Destination North Coast the project brings academia, destination management, and local government together to serve wide community interests.

The research project will help ensure that local residents have a say when it comes to decision- making at local and state levels of government. The survey released on the 4th of September 2019 allows residents to contribute their views on possible options for STHL in the Shire. The survey closes on the 15th of October 2019.

Through residents sharing their experiences it will facilitate better understanding of the impacts of STHL in their residential street, neighbourhood and local government area. This new knowledge will contribute to locally informed civic decision-making. For instance, shortly, Councils across NSW may be considering a short-term letting cap of 180 days for non-hosted properties. Such a policy amendment is now possible under the whole-of-government framework for STHL in NSW.

Previous research in parts of the North Coast have shown that most residents perceived both positive and negative impacts on the community through STHL. Research findings have shown most people weren’t against it. They simply wanted more regulation to make it fair play for everyone. The findings from this research will provide in-depth insights that can inform strategies, planning, policies and regulation that can guide future management.

You can take part in the survey here - https://scuau.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9QQy1jEFHoyHJxr

For further information please contact Michael Thurston, General Manager at Destination North Coast, gm@dncnsw.com or 0409 982913

Research team:

Dr Tania von der Heidt (Project Lead and Senior Lecturer, based at Lismore campus)  tania.vonderheidt@scu.edu.au

Dr Sabine Muschter (Researcher, based at Lismore campus)  sabine.muschter@scu.edu.au

Dr Rodney Caldicott (Scholar in Residence, Khon Kaen University, Thailand)  rodney@kku.ac.th or rod.caldicott@scu.edu.au

Dr Deborah Che (Lecturer, based at Gold Coast campus)  deborah.che@scu.edu.au