OPINION: Visitor behaviour is the issue in holiday letting
THE key issue in regard to holiday letting is the adverse impact that poor behaviour by visitors has on the local neighbourhood and community.
Byron council's Draft Holiday Letting Strategy, which goes on display this week, makes that clear.
While I commend council on being proactive, the strategy does not address this key issue of visitor behaviour, nor does it explain the real cost of these changes to the owners of these dwellings.
Holiday letting should be addressed by the State Government, but they have lacked leadership here, leaving councils to attempt to find a resolution for their communities.
However, what we risk losing here is the essence of Byron Shire as a desirable visitor destination. The reason we do not have large hotels and resorts is because we have holiday letting.
Without these 900 dwellings, we lose upwards of 657,000 bed nights per annum.
With an average spend of $128/night, with just 50% occupied throughout the year and an average of two beds per dwelling, this equates to $84 million or 30% of the visitor spend in Byron Shire.
Without holiday letting we also risk losing families - the most desirable type of visitors.
We need a mechanism to address visitor behaviour, without reshaping the shire.
President, Destination Byron