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Airbnb country manager Sam McDonagh spoke at the parliamentary inquiry into short-stay accommodation today. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Airbnb goes head-to-head with critics

More than a third of visitors to Western Australia who used Airbnb said they would never have had a holiday if it wasn’t for the online home-share platform, the company asserted today, as it fought back against criticism by Tourism Council WA and the Australian Hotels Association.

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As a Western Australian hotelier, I believe if Airbnb will ruin Tourism WA if it continues along this path. Airbnb should be a 'hosted' accommodation and not a free-for-all, which it currently is without any regulation. Accommodation providers will not put rates up, they will just be able to re-employ the staff they have had to let go due to unrealistic and unfair competition that Airbnb has created, and which the state has let go without reform.

And the sky will fall down. Airbnb guest will drink and eat at your hotel and spend dollars at local shops. it is not a free-or-all, as Airbnb guest can provide feedback and ratings after each stay, so poorly presented Airbnbs get negative feedback that everyone can read. Rather than live in the past, form partnerships with local Airbnbs and offer a discounted meal or happy hour and you will see the benefits flow into your business.

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