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Fresh calls for Airbnb crackdown as flurry of new Perth hotels open doors

There are further calls for a crackdown on unregistered Airbnb operations as Perth moves into the second half of its biggest hotel boom.

The Australian Hotels Association and the Tourism Council claim unregistered short-stay providers are undermining hotels, undercutting them on price by ignoring costly safety and building regulations.

AHA chief executive Bradley Woods said unregistered Airbnb operators were putting occupancy rates at the new hotels at risk and called on the State Government to ensure an even playing field.

AHA’s new research shows 3556 new rooms have opened in 32 hotels and serviced apartments across the metropolitan area since 2014.

And the boom is only half complete, with an additional 2728 rooms at nine hotels this year alone, and an extra 767 rooms at six new hotels next year.

Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the influx — representing a 37 per cent jump in city-based supply in five years — was unlikely to happen in such a short period again.

“We are lucky Airbnb didn’t take off before these hotels were built or we would not have them,” Mr Hall said.

He warned regional areas such as Margaret River would be unlikely to get any major new hotels or resorts in the next few years because of the competition from Airbnb. He said he had no issue with the registered providers because they met the same building and safety codes.

The Tourism Council, set to release its report into city-based venues today, claims 2500 extra hotel rooms have been constructed at 16 hotels in the past five years.

It says a further 1500 will be added to city stock by the end of next year.

This includes the Ritz Carlton, which is due to open at Elizabeth Quay with 204 rooms at the end of the year. Raine Square Hotel will open with 176 rooms and the 260-room Mantra on Hay Street will open at the end of the year.

A State parliamentary inquiry is investigating claims entire apartment blocks are being operated as Airbnb-style hotels in a bid to avoid the costs of regulations.

Labor MLA Jessica Shaw, the chairwoman of the Economics and Industry Standing Committee, said the inquiry had heard evidence “that entire apartment complexes were being built and run as hotels”.

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