Airbnb demand in Western Australia
Spatial distribution of international visitors

The “International Visitor Survey” (IVS) by Tourism Research Australia (TRA) provided the data basis for the analysis of the spatial distribution of international Airbnb demand to Western Australia. Based on this data, it is only possible to identify Airbnb users, i.e. visitors that booked at least one accommodation via the Airbnb platform. It is however not possible to identify the booking platform for each single accommodation for a comprehensive trip itinerary. The spatial analysis was carried out at SA2 level. SA2 stands for “statistic area level 2”, which is a spatial circumscription used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and has been introduced to replace “Statistical Local Areas” (SLAs) to get a more consistent population size. SA2 is comparable with suburbs at city level and with smaller towns plus surroundings in rural areas. SA2 levels might not necessarily align with Government Area boundaries (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Data source: Tourism Research Australia 2015, 2016


Airbnb users have a different spatial distribution of their places of stay compared to Airbnb non-users in WA. Interestingly, Airbnb users do not stay only in the ‘Experience Perth’ region but clearly travel also to other tourism regions.

Concerning visits to the different WA tourism regions (counted in a binary manner), the ‘Australia’s South West’ (ASW) tourism region has the highest share of Airbnb users compared to Airbnb non-users. 5.7% of all visits to ASW in 2015 and 10.7% in 2016 were from Airbnb users, which is above the average of the overall share of Airbnb users among WA international visitors. The same holds for holidaymakers only, where the ASW has again the highest share of stopovers by Airbnb users relative to non-users among all WA tourism regions (2015: 8.47%; 2016: 14.39%).

The share of visits by Airbnb users compared to Airbnb non-users is relatively close to average for the ‘Experience Perth’ region but is below average especially for ‘Australia’s North West’ (ANW) tourism region, for both years 2015 and 2016 and for the subset of holidaymakers as well.

A more fine-grain analysis of the spatial distributions of places of stay on the so-called SA2-level confirms the differences between Airbnb users and Airbnb non-users. Whereas Perth City maintains its number one position, Margaret River, Fremantle and a couple of other suburbs in Perth as well as the Busselton region have a more important position among Airbnb users than among Airbnb non-users. In contrast, more peripheral places such as Albany or Broome have a higher ranking among Airbnb non-users than among Airbnb users. A close-up analysis of the wider Perth metropolitan area indicates that a few suburbs along the Swan and Canning rivers and the metropolitan coast are relatively more popular among Airbnb users than on average.