Short stay accommodation in regional areas: Unpacking the effect on price, housing and regional development

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Business and Law

First Supervisor

Kerry Brown

Second Supervisor

Uma Jogulu

Third Supervisor

Dora Marinova


The rapid growth of the short-stay accommodation market, facilitated by digital platforms and the sharing economy, has transformed the way travellers find and book accommodation. These digital platforms have brought numerous opportunities for homeowners, tourists, and local economies alike. Recent studies have demonstrated the challenges of the dominance of short stay accommodation in a region. The situation has given rise to issues including, but not limited to, housing instability resulting in the non-availability for long-stay residents, and where available, the price is usually unaffordable. These issues are common problems globally, and the research seeks to understand the issues that are unique to the case study region of Margaret River.

This doctoral study delves into the dynamics surrounding short-stay accommodation, with a particular focus on the three major areas of investigation: policy mitigation strategies, housing crisis, and price disruption. Findings on these issues are reported in Chapters 4, 5 and 6, respectively. By investigating the ramifications of price disruptions within the short-stay accommodation sector, the study illuminates that price disruptions have far-reaching effects on housing affordability and availability, contributing to the broader housing crisis in regional contexts. In response to these challenges, the study systematically analyses policy mitigation strategies and the regulatory frameworks available to government to deal with short stay accommodation in regions. This research includes examining regulatory frameworks, regional planning initiatives, and innovative approaches within the hospitality management industry. Through a comprehensive exploration of these facets, the study proposed informed and effective strategies that reconcile the economic imperatives of short-stay accommodation with the urgent need for sustainable, and equitable housing solutions.

Ultimately, this thesis seeks to provide valuable insights for policymakers, urban planners, and industry stakeholders navigating the complex interplay between price dynamics, housing crises, and policy interventions in the realm of short-stay accommodation. Regional development theory acts as the building block guiding the theories of the study. The thesis examines how these theories can offer valuable insights into the strategic considerations for accommodation providers, particularly regarding pricing strategies, geographical positioning, and the impact of regulatory environments. Knowledge applied in this study are built within regional and community development, spatial economics, administrative law, and management. Nevertheless, the application and relevance for revenue management techniques and Regulatory Theories are consistently on the rise. However, those relating to Cluster Theory and Location Theory are sparse in hospitality management. Other relevant theories that added depth to the argument include the shared governance model, and core and peripheral theory.

A mixed-methods approach was employed, utilising 1032 observations of empirical quantitative data scrapped from Airdna, in addition to, 18 face-to-face interview sessions. Data for the qualitative research was collected from hosts/ homeowner/ manager, realtor, and members of the Margaret River Chamber of Commerce, and senior officials of the council. The quantitative data was analysed using Stata 16, while the qualitative data were analysed using a combination of theme analysis, content analysis, Leximancer, and VOSviewer software.

The findings of the research are important for understanding the relationship between pricing, housing availability and affordability, and regional development. Our research shows that price dynamics influence housing availability and affordability while also impacting long-term housing options. Short-stay popularity contributes to gentrification and housing disparities. Inadequate housing options for short stay accommodation (SSA) lead to eviction, which has consequences for dislocation, stress, and community disorientation. Moreover, while short stays boost local economies, they also disrupt real estate markets.

In conclusion, this doctoral study delved into the multifaceted repercussions of short stay accommodation on price dynamics, housing availability and affordability and regional development, recognising the pressing need for comprehensive and sustainable solutions. Specifically, the research contributes to location theory by elucidating how the spatial distribution of short-stay accommodation influences housing dynamics and regional economic development patterns. The contribution seamlessly aligns with cluster theory, which focuses on the geographic concentration of businesses and the advantages it brings in terms of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and resource pooling. This theory emphasises how businesses within the same industry, when located close to each other, can achieve higher competitiveness through synergies and mutual support. Additionally, it resonates with location theory, which demonstrated how geographic factors influence economic outcomes. By emphasising the strategic significance of geographical positioning in pricing and availability management, the contribution underscores the importance of location in shaping business strategies and market dynamics, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector. Moreover, the study enriches the regulatory theory by proposing an alternative measure beyond, prohibition and limitation, which tend to balance economic growth with community wellbeing, challenging conventional approaches to regulating short stay accommodation. Practically, the study’s contribution lies in proposing innovative frameworks, namely the "Community of Hosts" and "Social Investment Trust," which not only address practical challenges but also redefine the regulatory paradigm of the sharing economy sector. The Social Investment Trust is a novel game-changer for supplementing social housing schemes for displaced long-term residents. By offering holistic approaches to disruptive brands, this study significantly advances the discourse on housing stability, spatial economics, and regional development.



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