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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Qantas decision to partner with Airbnb a ‘slap in the face’ to airline’s traditional hotel partners

Qantas' announcement today that it had entered into a partnership agreement with unregulated short-term accommodation provider, Airbnb, was a "slap in the face" for its traditional hotel partners, says Australia's peak accommodation organisation, Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).

"While we respect the right of airlines to make commercial agreements with various organisations, Qantas should understand the importance of working with partners who fully support and contribute to the tourism industry and meet all their regulatory requirements," said TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi.

"Around the world cities and countries are moving towards greater regulation of businesses such as Airbnb because they are operating in the commercial space without meeting the same regulatory requirements that legitimate hotels, motels, service apartment and B&B operators have to meet.

"These unregulated short-term accommodation operators do not have in place the consumer safety and community amenity regulations and insurances that apply to regulated operators, nor do they pay the requisite fees and taxes. This is why so many overseas jurisdictions are regulating to prevent even more non-resident apartments and houses being taken off the long-term rental market and sold as unregulated short-term accommodation.

"These online operators have morphed from their original idea of providing 'share' accommodation to becoming fully fledged commercial property operations where no sharing is involved. That's the case in Sydney and Melbourne, where Inside Airbnb has estimated that up to 61% of listings are for entire homes or apartments. If these businesses want to operate in the commercial short-term accommodation market then they need to abide by the regulations of other commercial operators.

"Until that is the case, we call on tourism operators like Qantas to only deal with legitimate accommodation partners who adhere to the same regulatory framework as they do."

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) represents the interests of Australia's accommodation chains and individual members in the hotel, serviced apartment, integrated resort, motel and vacation ownership sectors. Servicing owners, operators, managers, franchises and other industry stakeholders, TAA is a division of the Australian Hotels Association, a federally registered organisation of employers representing hotels since 1836

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