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Airbnb gets to first Base with hostels

January 23rd, 2015 | | Accommodation

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 12.18.29 PMAs predicted, the lure of Airbnb’s low commission rates and huge traffic volumes has attracted some of Australia’s smaller independent hostels into listing with them – but it doesn’t stop there, one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest hostel chains is now listing on the site.

Big Hostel and Kings Cross Backpacker have recently listed their properties on Airbnb while Base Backpackers have listed a bed for their Sydney property in what is being called “a test” by the company.

San Francisco based company Airbnb has over 1,000,000 listings and has serviced 25,000,000 guest bookings since starting in 2008. The company has stormed the headlines around the world with uproar from the accommodation sector and local councils due to the unregulated nature of the sites listings. Our own Backpackers Operators Association NSW has been active in the fight against Airbnb citing the sharing economy as part of  ‘the black economy’ and accusing the site of helping to fuel illegal accommodation.

Perhaps the biggest reason hostels are starting to list, is Airbnb’s attractive 3% commission rate – compared to the 12% paid for standard listings with other OTA’s like Hostelworld and booking.com. Compare this with over 20% or higher for bricks and mortar agents – you can hardly blame the properties for signing up – can you?

Written by Thomas Wheeler

Is listing your property on Airbnb supporting ‘the black economy’ or should it just been seen as just another way to fill beds?





6 Responses

  1. Tom O'Brien says:

    I’ve been tempted to sign up before but have so far resisted. The problem is, if too many hostels make the move to listing, then we could be forced to do so.

  2. Mick says:

    I can’t see Airbnb servicing too many bookings for hostels at the moment. Im not sure the audience is right for our market. Happy to be proved wrong obviously! Would be good to have some feedback from hostels who are listing currently – any bookings so far?

  3. Is there really an option but to join Airb&b? Licensed regulated properties will only be left behind ie empty beds until government & councils address the issue.
    Try starting up a B&B,the requirements of local councils turn many people off the idea immediately.I checked out Airbnb in Merimbula and found 19 properties within a 1 km radius of our Hostel.As they say “if you can`t beat them”,so we will.
    A guest left us yesterday to stay at an Airbnb at Paynesville in Victoria and uses them regularly in her travels both here and overseas.
    Having operated our property for the past 14 years I see this as just another nail in the coffin of this industry particularly on the coast south of Sydney.

  4. I’ve just had a few days in Vancouver. A couple of operators were talking about AirBnB for selling beds, with Tim from SameSun on Granville already offering beds for sale – in a limited manner.

    Shows that hostel operators are starting to embrace the demon that might be! But, given the cost of sale is lesser than other channels, is it hardly surprising?

  5. […] The Byte recently reported on independent hostels who had signed up with Airbnb, escaping hefty commission rates (Airbnb currently charges a 3% commission rate) which is just adding to the already competitive nature of the game. […]

  6. FTP World Wide says:

    Superlative services. I really like it. Hostel Kings Cross