Website for registered accommodation only launches

A booking platform, which only lists registered holiday homes, has been launched in the South West.

WA Home Stay is the initiative of Perth couple, Amanda and Mark Walker.

The pair own a holiday home in Quindalup, which they previously listed on Airbnb.

Ms Walker said they were fed up with the lack of transparency and hidden costs and thought they could offer something similar, with better rates and customer service for users.

The Walkers conducted their market research in the South West and decided to launch in the region first.

They plan to take their WA-based platform state-wide.

The launch follows the announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into the regulation of short stay accommodation in WA.

The announcement was welcomed by the Australian Hotels Association, state politicians and those in the South West tourism industry.

Last week, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said associations like the Registered Accommodation Providers of the Margaret River Region had been instrumental in the decision to undertake the inquiry.

Ms Walker said the response from accommodation operators in the region had been extremely positive.

“We’ve been speaking to a lot of B ‘n’ Bs and the amount of business they have lost is horrific,” she said.

“We are working with the City of Busselton and Shire of Augusta Margaret River to verify holiday homes are registered before the accommodation listing is published.”

Ms Walker said by ensuring only registered holiday homes were listed, it allowed councils and shires to regulate the industry and keep businesses viable.

“Councils can see our listings and go ‘you know what, we have 400 homes there, that’s enough for that area’ and it keeps all other businesses sustainable,” she said.

“Holiday homes are amazing, you can travel with groups of friend and family, they are an important part of tourism.

“But we don’t want to see operators losing 75 per cent of their businesses that they put their heart and soul into – that’s heartbreaking.”