Tasmania eyes short-stay controls as $20m Cradle Mountain plan lodged

Booking platforms will share data with building control officers each quarter under proposed new short stay legislation tabled in Tasmania’s parliament last week.

The controls, welcomed by industry and tourism groups including Airbnb, would require the sharing of data on listing periods and the portion of a property being used by visitors, with the information used to ensure compliance with existing regulation and to help shape tourism and housing policy.

Tasmania Visitor Survey data from June this year showed 18.6 per cent of visitors stayed in hosted accommodation such as Airbnbs, guest houses and bed and breakfasts over the past year.

“This visitor preference needs to be recognised and respected if Tasmania is to maintain its reputation as a contemporary visitor destination,” Tourism Northern Tasmania chief Chris Griffin told The Examiner.

But he argued industry and community concerns about Airbnb-style accommodation centred around compliance with current regulations – particularly when it came to visitor safety in Tasmanian holiday accommodation.

An Airbnb spokesperson said while the detail would be “closely” looked at, the bookings platform was “supportive of the intent of the Bill, which will ensure greater transparency and allow families to earn extra income”.

The state’s booming tourism industry could soon see a major new accommodation player.

A $20 million development boasting private walking tracks and a stargazing platform has been proposed next to the World Heritage Area of Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park.

The 62-room luxury development at 4004 Cradle Mountain Road, between Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge and Devils @ Cradle, would be built on land originally bought by the McDermott family to house staff from their McDermott Coaches business.

S.Group director Sam Haberle said the design would seek to do justice to its surrounds.

“This is a beautiful site. It’s the only site in Cradle Mountain with accommodation where you can actually see the mountain.

“The architecture is all about bringing that essence of place,” he said.

The development proposal is before the Kentish Council, with work scheduled to complete by 2020.

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