I am fortunate enough to live in a country that so many people from around the world dream of visiting. Many have it on their bucket list and that said, droves of tourists make their way to New Zealand to get a first-hand experience of its natural splendour and endless list of things to do and see.
Visitors to NZ need a place to stay and most of them turn to hotels, motels, hostels, backpackers, Airbnb and so on in the quest for suitable accommodation. However, in some centers such as Auckland, tourists are hitting a bit of a snag trying to secure accommodation. Former NZ Prime Minister John Key recently highlighted that there is a shortage of hotel beds. He gave an example of Auckland where hotel occupancy is running close to 100% and that even his own staff struggle to get accommodation. He also pointed out that tourists number are rising at a rate of 5.4% a year which means that the problem is only going to get worse if more hotels aren’t built.
But, with every problem, there is opportunity! In this instance, there is a huge opportunity to make some money by providing accommodation to tourists as an Airbnb host. Something as simple as a spare bedroom to accommodate a solo traveler can see you on the way to earning some extra cash.
As of the beginning of January 2017, Airbnb lists the following amounts as what you could earn on average on a weekly basis:
- Entire place NZD $611
- Private room NZD $363
- Share room NZD $243
Let’s say all that you have available is a spare room that is sitting empty and maybe even gathering dust, earning an average of $243 a week from it isn’t bad at all. Tourists being tourists, they for the most part will spend a fair amount of their time exploring what their destination has to offer. That said, when offering them a room in your home, you more than likely won’t see a lot of them meaning that you won’t feel like your space has been completely invaded.
If you aren’t familiar with Airbnb it is in a nutshell, a marketplace that connects people looking for accommodation with those who have rooms or homes to rent out. As a host, you list your space on Airbnb at whatever rate you think it is worth and whenever you want to make it available. Once a booking for your space is made, guests pay for it via Airbnb and upon their arrival, checking them in and hosting them is up to you. You as a host get paid 24 hours after your guests check out and payment options include direct deposit, Paypal and international money wire. It is free to list on Airbnb but they charge a 3% host service fee on each reservation.
As mentioned above, you can chose when you want to host. If anything, you can only chose to host during popular periods of the year which for New Zealand are summer and autumn. This could see you realising a high occupancy rate, getting the most use out of your space and not only making it worth your while but you making a decent amount of money.
Tourism has evolved over the years and is no longer a case of visiting and destination and experiencing what it has to offer. Travelers are increasingly searching for authentic travel experiences that give them a better insight into “real life” at the destinations they travel to. Depending on the type of booking, Airbnb can offer them just that as they get to interact with their hosts who may then give them more of a local experience. This is something that they more than likely won’t get if they were booked into a hotel room with a traditional global hotel group.
If you have a room, apartment or home available and are looking to make a little extra cash, it doesn’t hurt to look into Airbnb to see if it would be worth your while.