A happy coastal holiday income for some is an economic and social nightmare for others

The Airbnb phenomenon has exploded worldwide. The online peer-to-peer home-sharing platform operates in 191 countries, with more than five million listings.

Airbnb has also taken off in Australia, with 166,000 listings. Its growth has had the greatest impact in popular coastal destinations, like Byron Bay. This small community of about 9,000 people receives more than two million visitors annually. At 222:1, Byron Bay’s visitor-to-local ratio is among the highest in the world. Visitor numbers are expected to increase to 3.8 million by 2030, according to Byron Shire Council’s Sustainable Visitor Strategy. At the same time, Byron Shire has one of Australia’s least affordable regional rental housing markets.

Learn more about the impacts of Airbnb on the NSW North Coast.

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