Manage episode 203926936 series 59345
Like many other countries, New Zealand has Airbnb. These are usually privately owned houses. Sometimes they are holiday houses, sometimes the Airbnb is a separate flat attached to a house or a share of a house with the owners. Tourists are often attracted to this kind of accommodation for a number of reasons. If it is a whole house, it is probably spacious and can accommodate a whole family. If it is part of a house where the owner is at home, it offers the advantage of having access to a local person who can give local information. If a tourist wants to meet New Zealanders to find out more about our culture and how we live, the owner can be a useful source of knowledge.
However, there can be disadvantages. For tourists, they don’t know how good the accommodation is. Hotels have star ratings. Not every Airbnb has a recommendation, especially if it’s the first time it has been offered. Some overseas friends had a bad experience at a dirty house. Some places are not in the central city and are not close to good transport.
For popular tourist towns, short-term Airbnb and Bookabach accommodation limits the number of long-term rental properties available for hospitality and retail workers. Queenstown and Rotorua are good examples. They need staff for their cafes, restaurants, hotels, and tourist shops. Most of these workers are paid the minimum wage and cannot afford to pay expensive rent.
Airbnb and Bookabach do not have to meet the same health and fire safety requirements as hotels. Last year, a family staying in Christchurch were lucky to escape unhurt when the rental house they were staying in caught fire.
Owners of hotels and motels feel that owners of any property rented out for more than 28 days a year, should pay the same local rates and commercial insurance that they have to pay.
• spacious (adj) – has plenty of space
• hospitality workers – work in a hotel or restaurant
• rates (n) – local tax, property tax
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