Local Airbnb trends and how it’s helping Bundy recover
With a combination of temporary work, relocations, unprecedented circumstances and record-low rental vacancies, flexible places for short or long-term stays have never been so essential in regional Queensland.
And local Airbnb properties are meeting the demand with diverse and convenient offerings.
Managing 24 Airbnb listed properties RE/MAX Precision owner Scott Mackey said recent trends indicated the coastal and cane Bundaberg region was becoming more than just a holiday hotspot.
In fact Mr Mackey said about 80% of his guest bookings were not due to vacations but for reasons related to work, family, health and events.
"People are staying in Bundaberg for good and not-so-good reasons - some are coming to town for a holiday but for many others it's because they have a sick relative in town or are here to play sport," Mr Mackey said.
"But the majority of visitors we're seeing are travelling here for work - whether it be doctors, shop fitters, software installers or someone relocating for work that wants somewhere to stay temporarily, before uprooting the whole family."
Working in the real estate industry for almost three decades, five of which he has also managed Airbnb properties, Mr Mackey said he's seen a rise in bookings and interest.
"February and March are generally the quietest times of the year but our occupancy has still been well above where it has over the last few years," Mr Mackey said.
"By having a good number of Airbnbs we're able to see all the different trends, why people are visiting the region and what they are looking for in accommodation."
And it's no wonder Airbnbs are growing in popularity with affordability, flexibility and comfort among other benefits.
But with more staying overnight for professional and personal commitments, Mr Mackey said it's no longer just about luxurious views with creature comforts proving to hit the spot.
"People want to be able to stay in accommodation that allows them to pick up some of our incredible produce and cook meals at home, which our listings provide for," Mr Mackey said.
"We can accommodate people for one night or for however long they need to stay and we've got a range of listings from $50 right across to $1000 per night.
"Our linen is washed by commercial launderers and we have professional cleaners so that gives our guests peace of mind in that we kind of operate like a hotel would."
Regardless of why people are staying in Bundy, Mr Mackey said it was all positive news for the region because it encouraged out-of-towners to spend and gave the local economy a boost.
"The positive stuff that's come out of the pandemic is we are bringing people that wouldn't generally travel to our region and they are coming through Queensland," he said.
"It's been really positive for places like Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Bundaberg Rum, Kalki Moon and Tinaberries Strawberry Farm.
"We're promoting those types of destinations as well as Water St Kitchen, Indulge, The Club Hotel and other popular restaurants to spread the positivity about our area."
Airbnb's country manager for Australia and New Zealand Susan Wheeldon said hosts on Airbnb are passionate about showing off the patch they call home and are eager to point guests into the direction of hidden gems and local businesses to support.
"It's been really heartening to see people across Queensland show such incredible enthusiasm for exploring their own state including the Bundaberg region," Ms Wheeldon said.
"Local hosts across the Bundaberg region have been making a really commendable contribution to their region's economic recovery by rolling out their welcome mats and bringing tourist dollars to the area.
"People are actively searching for authentic local experiences that allow them to switch off and reconnect with family and friends while taking in the great outdoors - something the Bundaberg region has in spades."
For more information about where to stay in Bundaberg, contact the team at RE/MAX Precision Bundaberg or visit Airbnb.com.au