Ten years after its founding Airbnb is facing pushback in several markets and one of its founders, Joe Gebbia, says his company can cope with regulations.

The design expert, whose wealth has been put by Forbes at $US3.8 billion ($NZ5.6b), said other inventions and innovations took some time to be widely accepted.

Queenstown is among the latest in a growing list of tourist hotspots, including London, New York and Paris to restrict the number of bed nights private residents were permitted to offer short term accommodation. In Queenstown the long-term rental stock market has been hit by the number of short-term rentals, meaning there is less accommodation for workers in the booming tourism town.

While Gebbia was not prepared to comment on whether his company was being singled out he said: "In general we believe in regulation - just as long as it is fair and balanced."
Gebbia has been in Australia meeting top hosts there.


He has also spoken to this country's new tourism minister Kelvin Davis.The two talked about sustainable tourism which includes the role Airbnb can play in helping avert the need for more tourism infrastructure.

"You're not having to pour more concrete," said Gebbia.

He and a roommate founded what has grown to be a US$31b high flyer of the shared economy when they pulled an air mattress out of a wardrobe and let it out to cover a rent increase.

"That's when we became entrepreneurs."

New Zealand had embraced Airbnb, he said.

There were close to 34,000 listings here, up 71 per cent in the past year with 700,000 users. Guest arrivals were up 136 per cent to 1.3 million.

The relationship with the hotel sector had matured and there was room for both. Around he world occupancy in traditional accommodation was high and yield was strong while Airbnb properties were also thriving.

The company was looking at ways of expanding beyond accommodation and local experiences some hosts offered.


"Our big idea is that we would like to offer the whole trip," he said.This would be a seamless, uncomplicated experience. Asked how this could fit into how airlines operate, Gebbia said hat he could not divulge any details.

He stays in Airbnb places when he's travelling, his favourite with a Buddhist monk in Japan. He's recently made available temporary space in an apartment in San Francisco under an emergency accommodation for disaster victims or refugees.

He said he was too busy to think about the wealth he's reported to have.

''I'm very focused on the company, my life hasn't changed - you ask my friends and family.''