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Aus: homestay standards ‘will boost confidence’

Australia has announced industry-recognised standards for the homestay accommodation sector, which stakeholders hope will boost consumer confidence in the industry.

There are an estimated 13 million spare bedrooms across Australia, according to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Photo: pexels

The standards were created in partnership between industry and Study NSW

The Homestay Quality Standards, managed by the National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme, were created in partnership between industry and Study NSW.

Areas of Australia are grappling with housing shortages and some in the sector have pointed to the host sector as part of a solution for international students. An upcoming Trade Subcommittee inquiry report is expected to recommend that the homestay sector can be encouraged to attract more host families.

And the sector expects government to recognise the hosted accommodation standards as it continues its inquiry into Australia’s Tourism and International Education Sectors.

The Australian Homestay Network has been been advocating for industry-wide hosted accommodation standards since it established in 2007, founder David Bycroft said.

“Issues of students experiencing overcrowding, exploitation and being ripped off by unscrupulous individuals were apparent back then and with today’s lack of housing, students are just as vulnerable,” Bycroft noted.

“With today’s lack of housing, students are just as vulnerable”

The official standards and quality assurance framework features four key principles, covering effective governance and management, secure and comfortable provisions, effective student welfare arrangements as well as providers offering wellbeing information and training to students.

The standards will provide credibility to the sector as well as helping students and potential hosts identify quality hosted accommodation companies to engage with, Bycroft continued.

AHN is also the first NEAS Endorsed Homestay Service.

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