Quickflix co-founder the new face of Airbnb ANZ

Quickflix co-founder Sam McDonagh has become the new face of Airbnb in Australia and New Zealand, after being appointed as the company's country manager for the region.

Airbnb today announced the appointment of Quickflix co-founder and former iiNet chief sales and marketing officer Sam McDonagh as its new country manager for Australia and New Zealand.

In his new role, McDonagh's first duties will be to increase awareness of Airbnb in the region and support the local team in a bid to ensure that Airbnb is providing Australian customers with "unique travel experiences" within Australia and around the world.

Prior to this role, McDonagh also held the position of general manager, Australia, for Dollar Shave Club, RentSmart executive general manager Australasia, and director for eBay Southeast Asia.

Airbnb new appointee
Sam McDonagh, Airbnb's new country manager for Australia and New Zealand. Image: Airbnb

The San Francisco-based online accommodation share platform claims it is experiencing rapid growth in the region, with the number of Australian listings on the platform more than doubling in the last year alone.

Inbound travellers to Australia and New Zealand are also increasingly using the service to secure "unique accommodation experiences", according to the company, with the number of guests booking through Airbnb more than tripling year on year.

"Australia and New Zealand are incredibly important markets for Airbnb both in terms of domestic and international travel," said Varsha Rao, head of Global Operations at Airbnb. "Sam has a deep passion for travel and a great track record growing companies that are focused on strong customer communities, which will make him a great asset to Airbnb."

McDonagh, who will be based in Sydney for the role, will be focused on supporting the local team in strategic initiatives and partnerships to further develop and grow Airbnb in the region's market.

The appointment comes as Airbnb makes moves to capture more of the business travel sector, announcing in July a new partnership with travel and expense management services provider Concur.

Late last week, the apartment-rental site said in a blog post that it plans to hand over the names and addresses of 124 hosts on its service to the New York attorney general.

The move follows a request in May by the New York attorney general that the company hand over the details of approximately 16,000 hosts in New York.

The company agreed to provide the department with anonymised data, which did not include names, apartment numbers, or other personally-identifiable information.

However, last week the New York attorney general asked for the unredacted personal information on 124 individual past and present Airbnb hosts.

"The vast majority of these hosts were no longer on our site," the company said in its post. "The remainder of records requested are all for hosts with multiple listings, and without knowing more about why the attorney general is interested in those hosts specifically, it is hard to know why they have been targeted."