Belfast City Council is reviewing the effect of holiday rental websites such as Airbnb and HomeAway, which have allegedly seen a 40% increase in bookings in northern Ireland during the twelve months to May (source: Airdna), against the local need for affordable housing.

Airbnb claims that Airdna’s figures can be misleading and inaccurate, although Airdna counters that its metrics are independently verified by CBRE to be “within a 5% margin of error across the board”.

Tourism in Northern Ireland is expected to reach £1bn by 2020, and the rise in homestay is directly linked to the number of incoming visitors.

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