Active Airbnb listings in Byron Bay.
Active Airbnb listings in Byron Bay. Contributed Airdna

Airbnb vs holiday park? What's the better deal

CURRENTLY, you can stay in a one bed Airbnb at Byron Bay for the similar price of a stay at a park or tent site in one of the caravan and camping parks in the area.

A quick search on Airbnb's website found 20 homes in Byron Bay offering one bed for $45 or less with the cheapest price going for $20 a night.

Meanwhile, a night in a holiday park could cost anywhere between $16 for an unpowered site at Byron Holiday Park to $79 for a powered site at Reflections Holiday Parks Clarkes Beach... and even more for a cabin, hut or lodge.

Which has led to some Byron Shire residents attributing the rapid growth of AirBNB to the "exorbitant costs” of staying in holiday parks on the North Coast.

However CEO of Reflections Holiday Parks Steve Edmonds has debunked these claims stating he believes growing tourist numbers was the reason more homes in the shire were turning to AirBNB to make an extra buck.

"I think what we have got is a growing domestic tourism numbers, there's been really strong growth over the last few years,” Mr Edmonds said.

"Something interesting happening in some of our parks is some of the residents are putting their houses on AirBNB for peak periods and then stay in our parks.”

Airbnb's Head of Public Policy ANZ Brent Thomas said their business model was helping to make travel more accessible and affordable for more people than ever before.

"Our community, with its local, unique and authentic listings, has something for every traveller on every budget,” Mr Thomas said.

"As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Every extra visitor who stays with Airbnb is one extra person eating in a local cafe, shopping in a local store and having a beer in a local pub.

"We want to work collaboratively with all players in the industry to grow and future-proof the tourism economy.”

According to data released by Inside Airbnb there are 2655 listings inside the Byron Shire local government area.

The average nightly price to stay costs around $258, which can get you a cabin or villa for the night, with some offering as many as five double beds.

Similarly a cabin in a holiday park for two to six people can cost anywhere between $100 to $365 at one of the many holiday parks in Byron Bay.

Even with the competitive prices, Mr Edmonds said he doesn't believe his holiday park visitor numbers have been threatened.

"Obviously Airbnb has grown significantly over the last few years and had increased tourism numbers but whilst there is an overlap in our business we also see out business as being quite discrete and different,” Mr Edmonds said.

"Year after year our return booking across our group is about 40 per cent of all our visitors.

"There are some downsides to Airbnb, you don't have the quality control that you do with a single operator, they manage all the neighbour and government issues and the proper management and safety within a park that you potentially don't get with Airbnb.”