Home stay accommodation is booming in Australia, particularly in areas like the Blue Mountains, Penrith and other areas in greater Western Sydney that offer Airbnb style short term stays to local event or get-away visitors.
Being able to turn a spare room into a small business is also having a knock-on effect spawning a new kind of local area networking to benefit local businesses.
The opportunities include basic support services like decor, renovations, cleaning, property management, security and linen suppliers.
Local tourism, commerce and dining can also be boosted by a recommendation from a host to a guest.
Over 80 per cent of recommendations made by a host to a guest result in a purchase, booking, or visit.
A guest may arrive at their home-stay late at night and have the next morning free, so will take a recommendation from the host to book a local activity.
Then there’s some ‘special touches’ such as personalising hotel-size shampoos and toiletries for Airbnb hosts to give to their guests.
Such a service is the brainchild of Suzette Sutton who has turned this idea into a service for other Airbnb hosts.
A trip to Fiji and an encounter with some body products gave Suzette the inspiration to create the business of personalising welcome sets for her guests with the guests’ photo on them.
“It then occurred to me that if I wanted these products to delight my guests, I was sure other hosts would want them also,” she said.
“There is a plethora of businesses that I’ve seen develop over the years now since Airbnb, Flipkey, Stayz and others have turned the accommodation industry on its head.”
Suzette also saw the need for hosts to be able to find such services that could help set them apart and enhance the homestay experience they offer.
The result is first ever Australian Home Hosting Expo (AHHX).
It will be held in Sydney in May 2018 after being piloted in Melbourne next month and the Gold Coast in February.
The idea is to provide a platform for small business supplying home hosts to get to meet hosts and promote their products.
“Anyone with a mortgage (which is about 68 per cent of Australian homes) is a potential host, so if the small businesses can reach this booming market, it’s got to be good for our economy,” Suzette said.
“AHHX is corralling the businesses and putting them in front of the hosts by having them exhibit at the expos,” she said.