Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown. New Zealand.

Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown, New Zealand

Are you looking for a promising business venture in the heart of adventure, Queenstown, New Zealand? If so, launching an Airbnb enterprise could be your ticket to success. This article will guide you through the various stages, ensuring you’re prepared for this exciting journey.

Introduction: Why Choose Airbnb in Queenstown?

Nestled on the shores of the South Island, Queenstown is a jewel, attracting globetrotters seeking natural beauty and adventure. As a prime tourist destination, it presents an ideal setting for launching an Airbnb venture. Aspiring entrepreneurs can leverage the steady influx of tourists by delivering a unique and comfortable lodging experience.

Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown, New Zealand

Tourism in Queenstown: A Numerical Overview

Visitors flock to Queenstown year-round for its picturesque landscapes, adrenaline-fueled activities like bungee jumping, jet boating, and skiing, and the tranquil retreats of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. It’s no surprise that Queenstown is a hotspot for the hospitality industry, including Airbnb.

Statistics speak volumes, and when it comes to tourism in Queenstown, they shout loud and clear. The district welcomed over 3.3 million guest nights in 2019, with an average length of stay being 2.8 nights. This consistent footfall presents a lucrative market for Airbnb businesses.

Global Appeal: International Visitor Dynamics

International visitors constitute a significant portion of the Queenstown tourist influx, with over one million international visitors reported in 2019. Catering to this global clientele can increase your Airbnb venture’s reach and profitability.

Domestic Draw: Local Visitor Dynamics

Do not underestimate the power of domestic tourism. In 2019, Queenstown saw 1.4 million guest nights from domestic tourists. Providing tailored experiences that cater to the local travel market can give your venture a competitive edge.

Airbnb in Queenstown: Market Snapshot

Airbnb has a firm foothold in the Queenstown market. In July 2023, there are around 1,674 Active Rentals in Queenstown. An average occupancy rate of 86% underlines the platform’s popularity among visitors.

Average Daily Rates: Show Me the Money

The average daily rate for Airbnb accommodations in Queenstown is $296. Offering competitive pricing while balancing profitability can help attract a broader guest demographic.

Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown, New Zealand

Property Type and Guest Preference: What’s Hot?

Entire homes/apartments make up 91% of Airbnb listings in Queenstown, with private rooms accounting for 9%. The former sees a higher demand, with about 85% of guests preferring to rent entire places. Tailoring your property offering to this trend can enhance your Airbnb venture’s appeal.

Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown, New Zealand

Venturing into the Airbnb domain in Queenstown requires strategic planning and execution. Armed with market insights, let’s delve into the crucial steps you should follow to ensure a successful launch.

Step 1: Airbnb Rental Market Research

Understanding your potential market is the cornerstone of any business venture. Explore Queenstown’s tourism sector, the average rental prices, tourist preferences, and the competition. (See above for a short overview of the Airbnb market in Queenstown.)

Step 2: Legal Compliance

Understanding the District Plan. Queenstown’s District Plan outlines the rules for property usage within the district. Short-term rentals fall under the category of ‘Visitor Accommodation’. Depending on your property’s zoning (residential, rural, etc.), there may be different regulations and standards. It is crucial to understand these rules or seek advice before listing your property on Airbnb.

Resource Consent Requirement. If you plan to rent out your property for more than 90 days in a year, you will need to obtain resource consent as per the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s rules. The council introduced this rule to balance the needs of the local community and the tourism sector.

Business licensing in Queenstown – Airbnb Help Center

Building and Health Standards. Your property must meet specific building and health standards to ensure guest safety. For instance, your property should have sufficient fire safety measures, proper sanitation, and suitable living conditions.

Tax Obligations. Income generated from your Airbnb venture is subject to income tax in New Zealand. Additionally, if you’re GST registered or your rental income exceeds NZD60,000 in a 12-month period, you’ll need to charge GST on your rental rate.

Insurance Considerations. While not a legal requirement, having appropriate insurance coverage for your property is crucial. Airbnb provides host protection insurance, but it may not cover all potential damages. Consider having a comprehensive insurance policy that covers short-term rentals.

Airbnb’s Own Rules and Standards. Airbnb has its own set of rules and standards that hosts must comply with. These include maintaining a minimum rating, following the anti-discrimination policy, and ensuring the accuracy of your listing.

Remember, the legal landscape can evolve, so it’s crucial to stay updated with any changes in local regulations or Airbnb’s rules. Consulting a legal advisor might be beneficial in ensuring you’re fully compliant.

Step 3: Property Acquisition

Whether it’s a quaint villa overlooking the lake or a modern apartment in the city center, your property choice will significantly influence your venture’s success.

Queenstown Central. The heart of the city, Queenstown Central, is a hot spot for tourists. It offers proximity to local attractions, a plethora of restaurants and cafes, and an energetic nightlife. Properties in this area tend to have high occupancy rates due to their central location.

Frankton. Frankton is another great area to consider. It’s near Queenstown Airport and the Remarkables Park Town Centre, making it convenient for tourists. Furthermore, its scenic view of the Remarkables mountain range adds to its allure.

Fernhill. Offering stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, Fernhill is a sought-after area by tourists for its tranquil and picturesque setting. Airbnb properties here can demand a higher price due to their location and view.

Kelvin Heights. Known for its sunny weather and spectacular panoramic views, Kelvin Heights is a premium residential suburb in Queenstown. Due to the parks and golf courses that surround it, it attracts tourists looking for a mix of leisure and outdoor activities.

Arrowtown. Just a short drive from central Queenstown, Arrowtown is an enchanting, historic gold mining town. Its old-world charm, combined with modern amenities and attractions, makes it a unique location for an Airbnb property.

Before buying a property, consider factors such as the property’s price, maintenance costs, and potential rental earnings. Analyze market trends and rental data for different neighborhoods to understand where you can get the best return on investment. Keep in mind, the more desirable your location, the higher the chances of achieving a good occupancy rate and a profitable venture.

Steps to Launch an Airbnb Venture in Queenstown, New Zealand

Step 4: Property Preparation

Preparing your property is not merely about cleaning and decorating; it encompasses ensuring safety measures, creating a homely ambiance, and setting up necessary amenities. Consider spending between USD$3,500 and USD$7,000 (approximate values as of July 2023) for initial setup and decoration, depending on the size of the property and the level of luxury you’re aiming for. Remember, properties that are presented attractively are more likely to draw in bookings!

Step 5: Creating an Appealing Airbnb Listing

Airbnb listings with at least 20 high-quality photos tend to receive more bookings. Furthermore, listings with a response rate of 90% and above are more likely to be preferred by guests.

Step 6: Managing Bookings and Customer Service

Successful management of bookings and maintaining top-notch customer service are essential to ensure positive reviews and repeat customers.

The Potential ROI: Crunching the Numbers

With an average daily rate of $296 and assuming a typical occupancy rate of 86%, you’re looking at potential gross earnings of around $7,636 per month from one property (average monthly revenue as per AirDNA is $5,084). After factoring in expenses such as utilities, maintenance, insurance, and Airbnb fees, you can expect a net profit margin ranging from 10-30%.


Queenstown’s tourism numbers coupled with Airbnb’s growth trajectory present an attractive proposition for launching an Airbnb venture in the city. While the potential for profitability is considerable, keep in mind that this venture requires careful planning, market understanding, regulatory compliance, and a commitment to exceptional guest service. With these numbers and steps in your toolkit, you are better equipped to navigate this exciting entrepreneurial journey.

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