MAN WHO VOLUNTEERS AS COUNSELLOR TO HOMELESS LISTS 10,557 HOLIDAY RENTALS
Over at 330 Wattle Street Ultimo there’s “the largest Australian owned and operated holiday rental site…” It’s the headquarters of AURA Holidays Pty Limited, which was founded in 2009 - their website was launched in 2012. According to AIHIT Data, “the people behind the brand are in fact owners and managers of their own rental properties…they have put together a collective experience of over 40 years in the IT and travel business and created AURA”. A 20 November 2015 Press Release announced “the completion of a new integration partnership with Resonline and Bookeasy…The new partnership expands (their) live booking property inventory to over 10,000 in addition to thousands of existing request-based booking properties available through the site…a fantastic milestone for AURA says managing director Lucian Kafka”. In his Linkedin post, Mr Kafka describes himself as an entrepreneur, technologist, psychotherapist, unified-relativist, sailor and skier…volunteering with St Vincent de Paul Society‘s Compeer program – key area of assistance includes housing and homelessness - and Mission Australia’s ‘Common Ground Sydney’ homelessness service.
AURA.travel also has its own Linkedin page – listing an additional eight unnamed employees who, if the listing is to be believed, are located in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Levallois-Perret (France), Tatau (Malaysia), Uzbekistan, Mexico, Pathanamthitta (India) and North Macedonia.
Back in September 2018 we asked in a Facebook post: “Please: How many of your listings are accredited B&Bs, motels, hotels etc?” No reply was provided. AURA’s social media has been inactive since May 2020.
Meanwhile, the AURA website says that it has: “10557 stays online.” We can find approximately 1,290+ NSW dwellings on the site.
Of course, so very many others are profiting from the short-term tourist/visitor rental of residential housing in New South Wales. A few other major players include:
19,100 holiday homes in New South Wales – Chris Hitchen listed as Chairman and founding investor. Back in 2019, Holidu raised €40 million in a funding round; Hitchen reportedly took part in the deal,
1,062 holiday homes in New South Wales – Charlie Chohilli listed as Co-Founder and CEO. Co-founder is Keith Cowarn. Listed as a private company, with reportedly less than 25 employees and an annual revenue of less than $5 million, it is Cowarn who spruiks the company online,
575 are homes located in NSW - Newcastle based, raised AU$16.5m in late 2021; “The company, which was founded in 2015, finished its first day trading on the ASX with a market cap of $33.1 million. Alloggio founder and CEO, Will Creedon, told the Australian Financial Review that the IPO was never in doubt. Running “879 holiday homes”, the company continues to acquire more online rentals operations.
Four days ago we estimated 135 NSW property agents had 257 homes available for residential tenancies and 41,241 holiday homes. We’ll change that to include AURA:
136 property agents - 259 homes available for tenants to rent -
some 42,532 homes lost to holiday rentals
Over 1,500 people follow us on social media but algorithms, for some unknown reason, see us often reaching fewer than 200. Though no media has enquired after our snapshot of figures over the Easter period, our latest posting has hit a milestone. Till now, our last post has been shared 119 times and has reached more than 20,000 people. All the more reason the silence from Media, MPs and Councillors has been deafening.