Taranaki Property Investors' Association
by Richard Woodd
Peter Miles, the guy who founded Bookabach NZ then sold half of it to US giant Homeway-Expedia Group, is the guest speaker for the TPIA’s next monthly event in New Plymouth on Tuesday April 16.
This is in the St Mary’s Peace Hall at 7.30 pm. Free to members and their guests; $20 (to cover expenses) for anyone else. Or watch out for our Midweek public notice ad and bring that clipping along as your entry ticket.
Anyone who owns, operates, manages or is thinking about a short term rental holiday home or b&b, will want to hear what Peter has to say about the future of this type of enterprise.
Peter, who has been general manager of Bookabach since 2013, says: “Kiwis have been going to the bach for summer holidays for generations. Now it seems the rest of the world has caught-up! Short-Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) has seen explosive growth with the likes of HomeAway/Expedia, Airbnb, Booking.com and TripAdvisor competing in the category. But, with growth comes challenges. What’s the future for STRA and the great Kiwi holiday?”
Jo Bourke, a director of Bach Break Taranaki, is sponsoring the evening and she will also be speaking, about how Bach Break started four years ago and has become one of the largest holiday accommodation providers in New Plymouth, with 58 properties under management.
Jo will talk about the journey along the way and the benefits of using Bach Break to manage your holiday or investment property.
Peter Miles, has over 18 years seen the industry evolve from a simple classified advertising business to the global e-commerce business it is today.
From going live in October 2000 he built Bookabach into one of New Zealand's largest communities of bach owners and renters. When Homeaway bought a 55 % share in 2013, it had grown to over 450,000 registered users and over 10,000 properties.
“The fundamental question becomes: when does STR become a commercial activity? The backbone of Bookabach used to be owners renting out enough to cover rates and a few expenses. But, what happens when you have an urban apartment for example – in Auckland, Wellington or even Queenstown, Rotorua or Raglan? And, it’s getting 70%-80% occupancy not 20% occupancy? And, then let’s make that an investor who never actually stays there… Is this a commercial activity?
“At Bookabach/HomeAway NZ we care deeply about creating a sustainable future for STR. The massive growth of STR in NZ is creating a bit of a backlash across the country. STR growth is being blamed for shortages in permanent housing, alleged noise/nuisance and more abstract issues around ‘social cohesion. in residential neighbourhoods etc. We’ve spent increasing amounts of time engaging with the rest of the tourism industry and councils trying to understand the real or
alleged issues and identifying a strategy for long-term sustainability of the industry. NZ is not unique here. I’m sure you’ve heard of other places around the world where STR is seeing increasing regulation (Seattle, LA, Amsterdam) or even an outright ban (Barcelona). We’re keen to find a solution that works for the specific conditions we see in New Zealand.”
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