LETTER: Don't blame short-term rentals for winter slump.
I WAS bemused to read the comments from Destination Byron vice-president Jeremy Holmes, in last week's Byron Shire News that blamed cyclical fluctuations in tourism accommodation bookings on the short-term rental accommodation sector.
As the vice-president of Byron Bay's destination marketing organisation, I would have thought that increasing the number of tourists to the region would be the only goal of his organisation - not promoting one type of accommodation over the other.
Rather than blaming short-term rentals for the ills of the traditional accommodation market, Destination Byron should leverage our expertise in growing tourism to locations like the Northern Rivers.
Our data shows that in 2016, short-term rental accommodation contributed $235.2 million to the NSW North Coast economy and supported 1616 jobs across the region.
Further, HomeAway (the new home of Stayz) helped fund a destination marketing campaign for the Northern Rivers after the devasting floods last year.
With many years of experience in the tourism sector, we have proven expertise in both Australian and global tourism.
HomeAway wants to be a responsible and equal partner with local councils and the wider tourism industry.
Together, we can ensure the tourism sector can continue to be a powerhouse of economic and jobs growth for destinations like Byron Bay.
However, for that to occur, traditional accommodation providers and local councils must be willing to recognise the fact that tourists are voting with their feet and increasingly demanding the personalised offering that comes with short-term rental accommodation.
Director of Corporate and Government Affairs