Residents across the Mid Coast are being invited to provide their opinions on short-term holiday letting (STHL) sites such as Airbnb and Stayz.
An online survey has been set up by researchers from Southern Cross University (SCU) that seeks to gauge people's attitudes towards peer-to-peer accommodation platforms and the impact they're having on communities along the NSW North Coast.
MidCoast Council is one of 12 councils taking part in the project, which is also supported by the region's peak tourism body, Destination North Coast.
Council's growth, economic development and tourism manager, Deb Tuckerman, said the results of the survey would provide council with a better understanding of the impacts of short-term holiday letting in the region.
"For some, short-term holiday letting provides employment opportunities both directly through accommodating visitors or through the jobs created by increased visitation to the area," she said.
"For others it may be the vehicle that enables them to remain in the area or their residence.
"Alternatively, some people may have been impacted negatively through increased rental prices, reduced availability of rental accommodation or issues related to having one of these properties in their vicinity."
The aim of the survey is to gain an understanding of the scale of short-term holiday letting within the MidCoast region.Deb Tuckerman
Led by Dr Tania von der Heidt from SCU's school of business and tourism, the project follows the positive response to the Byron Shire STHL Survey case study conducted in 2018.
Dr von der Heidt believes the research will lead to evidence-based decision-making.
"Policymakers need to have comprehensive, reliable, and evidence-based information on their locations," she said.
"Community members and traditional accommodation providers want to better understand the impacts of STHL in their residential streets, neighbourhood and local government areas.
"The new knowledge from this latest research project will contribute locally to inform civic decision-making."
With councils across NSW currently considering a short-term letting cap of 180 days for non-hosted STHL properties, Dr von der Heidt believes input from community members is more relevant than ever.
"To seek leave for policy amendment, councils must demonstrate the community benefit of reducing the non-hosted STHL period," she said.
"The local context must be analysed and explained, against indicators including social and economic impacts for the community in general, and impacted property owners specifically."
To take part in the survey, click here.
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