Call for level playing field over Air BnB accommodation

11:03 am on 25 March 2016

More than 10,000 people will be checking into Air BnB accommodation this Easter, but Hospitality NZ is calling for the same rules to apply to all accommodation providers.

bedroon, accommodation, Air BnB

Photo: 123rf

Sam McDonagh, the country manager for Air BnB, says the number of bookings for Easter has doubled since this time last year.

Mr McDonagh said the company had been operating internationally for eight years, but had a more concerted push in New Zealand in the middle of last year.

Hospitality NZ national president Adam Cunningham said the more traditional accommodation providers were also expecting a busy long weekend, as a continuation of the busy summer.

"Kiwis love being out and about and the fact that we have had an extended summer puts everybody in a better mood, and that bodes well, really well, for Easter breaks around the country."

He said businesses like Air BnB were starting to have an impact on the more traditional accommodation providers, and they would have to get used to the competition.

But he said there did need to be a level playing field between all accommodation providers

"We can't have an industry where one part of the industry has to pay commercial rates, pay GST, pay to be a commercial business, and have that impacted by environments and holiday homes that don't have to cover any of that, including insurance."

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said an early Easter was not necessarily good for the sector, as it traditionally signalled the end of the summer tourism season.

Mr Roberts said international arrivals had remained strong after a record summer, with arrivals in the first week of March up by an estimated 12 percent.

Aircraft entertain the crowd at Warbirds over Wanaka.

Aircraft entertain the crowd at Warbirds over Wanaka. Photo: RNZ

He said two particularly busy locations this weekend would be Central Otago, with the biennial Warbirds over Wanaka airshow in Wanaka, and the popular Big Easy cycling event in Hawke's bay.

Lake Wanaka Tourism spokesperson Gizelle Regan said around 60,000 people were expected in town for the event.

She said Wanaka was fully booked, with the local iSITE information centre operating a waiting list for any available rooms since the end of last year.

NZTA has issued a list of Easter congestion hotspots around the country, with a guide for when traffic was expected to be heaviest.

It is advising people to plan ahead to avoid the most congested times if possible.

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