ON THE RISE: The number of Airbnb listings on the Coffs Coast grew by 34 per cent last year.
ON THE RISE: The number of Airbnb listings on the Coffs Coast grew by 34 per cent last year. Contributed

Coffs opens its doors to a growing tourism market

HAVE you thought of letting a room or your house to a stranger?

If so, you are part of a growing trend with more people across the Coffs Coast turning their attention to home-sharing site Airbnb.

Last year the number of hosts in Coffs Harbour grew by 34 per cent, reaching 400.

In 2017 Coffs Harbour listings hosted more than 17,000 guests.

Forster recorded a 28 per cent rise in the number of hosts, bringing the total number to 570 while Port Macquarie has 360 hosts and Taree 70 hosts.

Airbnb's Head of Public Policy ANZ Brent Thomas said Airbnb was attracting people to Coffs Harbour without the need to build new hotels or attractions.

"For many Coffs Harbour locals, Airbnb has become an economic lifeline helping them makes ends meet and ease the cost-of-living. The average Coffs Harbour host earns $5,200 a year which we know helps pay the mortgage or bills," Mr Thomas said.

"Every extra visitor staying in an Airbnb in Coffs Harbour is one more person spending in local cafes, bars or shops. This is good for locals, good for small businesses and good for the local community."

According to data from Airbnb, the average host on the Coffs Coast earned $5200 a year while hosts in Taree earned $4900, $5800 in Port Macquarie and $9000 in Forster.

Across Australia, regional areas had 50 per cent of listings, up from 47 per cent in 2015.

According to Airbnb, listings in regional NSW contributed more than $135 million and supported 1186 local jobs in 2015-16.

A Galaxy Research study showed 51 per cent of NSW residents were likely to use Airbnb when travelling and one in three would consider using Airbnb to share their home or space.

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