The Australian accommodation sector has shrunk significantly despite increased tourism activity, population growth, and a rise in tourism-related businesses, according to the latest figures from Tourism Research Australia.
“With platforms such as Airbnb potentially affecting the viability of traditional accommodation businesses, it is possible that the sharing economy is responsible, in some part, for the decrease in business counts,” said the government-funded Tourism Businesses in Australia report.
Unregistered short stay properties are not, however, included in the report’s statistics.
Between mid-2013 and mid-2018, 418 accommodation businesses went to the wall, the number of operators falling from 13,243 to 12,825.
They encompassed 12 businesses with 200 employees or more, 50 with a staff of between 20 and 199, and 356 businesses with 19 or fewer employees.
According to the report, the accommodation sector makes up 4.2 percent of Australia’s overall tourism-related businesses, and tourism businesses are responsible for one-eighth of Australia’s total economy.
While the TRA report shows the commercial accomodation sector has shrunk over the past five years, other related sectors have grown.
More than 18,600 new taxi licenses were granted and 12,100 takeaway food outlets founded over the five-year period to June 2018, thanks in part to the rise in delivery services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo.