Managing the Impacts of Airbnb: A Case Study of Queenstown, New Zealand
Airbnb is a new phenomenon that has transformed accommodation in the tourism industry and expanded across the globe. The operation of Airbnb involves individuals renting out rooms in their homes or renting entire homes on an online marketplace, as a means of short-term accommodation. Media attention has focused on the negative implications of Airbnb, such as a reduction in housing supply and neighbourhood nuisance. Yet if well managed, the platform has the potential to contribute positively to economies and societies. Airbnb is autonomous in nature, as transactions take place between the ‘host' and consumer. Therefore, regulation and enforcement are difficult to implement.This research sought to investigate the positive and negative impacts of Airbnb in the context of Queenstown. The location was chosen as the case study for the research as it is a prominent tourist hub in New Zealand that is already struggling to provide sufficient infrastructure to facilitate growth in visitor numbers. Using qualitative methods, the research also sought to investigate current and future regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to manage the effect of Airbnb.The research finds that Airbnb exacerbates issues in the District such as housing affordability and availability, staff retention issues and neighbourhood nuisance. Conversely, it was also found that Airbnb generates beneficial impacts for the community such as a profitable opportunity for local residents, contributions to the tourism industry and diversifying the accommodation market. The study also found that while some adverse impacts are directly addressed through QDLC’s current regulation, other impacts are forfeited.The research is significant as it may help to inform local authorities on future management strategies to maximize the potential benefit, and diminish adverse impacts, that Airbnb could have in tourism destinations. As a result, the study concludes by suggesting possible management strategies which seek to reduce and address adverse impacts associated with the platform. Recommendations include the implementation of a Visitor Levy, the development of a Workers Village and/or the incorporation of housing affordability and availability considerations into current Residential Visitor Accommodation regulation.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Department of Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Airbnb; Queenstown; tourism; NewZealand; Visitor; Accomodation
Research Type: Thesis