Airbnb shares proposals for short term let regulation in Scotland

Airbnb is today sharing its proposals for short term let regulation in Scotland, having already backed calls for a local tourist tax.

Airbnb’s submission to the Scottish government consultation on short term lets outlines the travel platform’s recommendations to help local authorities in Scotland regulate home sharing effectively, including backing for a simple, free and online registration system in communities that need it, extending planning requirements to professional lets hosting over 140 nights per year, and support for a tourism levy should communities want to introduce one.

This news comes as Airbnb also announces it will collaborate with hosts, communities and politicians in Scotland and in cities across the UK on proposals for a clear, modern and simple registration system for short-term rentals.

From 26 September and starting in Edinburgh, Airbnb will begin a 6-month roadshow of major cities across the UK to meet with policymakers, city leaders and local hosts to share the positive impacts of home sharing, listen to proposals for a registration system and to discuss how it can work together with everyone to help make home sharing part of the solution to local challenges.

Airbnb will collate learnings and proposals for a registration system for short term lets in a white paper that it will present to government, policymakers, city leaders and other key stakeholders in 2020.

“We want to be good partners to communities in Scotland and work together on a host registration system that is easy to follow, gives authorities the information they need to regulate home sharing effectively, and that ultimately makes communities stronger. Airbnb has long led the way on home sharing rules in London and we want to extend that collaboration, based on our experience of working with more than 500 governments across the world. We hope that other industry players will join us in this important work.” 

Patrick Robinson, Director of Public Policy at Airbnb

“VisitScotland welcomes Airbnb’s contribution to the conversation on how best to register their hosts. This is an important issue with the Scottish Government recently having consulted on regulating short-term lets. We would encourage stakeholders to engage with AirBnB to learn more about their proposals.

“Ensuring the country’s tourism industry remains sustainable requires a sensitive touch and VisitScotland is committed to working in partnership with the government, businesses and communities so that Scotland remains a must-visit destination for future generations of holidaymakers.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland

As part of the platform’s global commitment to transparency with local governments, the submission also includes data about Airbnb’s economic impact and host and guest community in Scotland, including that:

  • There are 35,000 listings on Airbnb across Scotland
  • Entire homes in Scotland listed on the Airbnb platform account for less than 1 percent of local housing stock
  • 84 percent of host accounts in Scotland have one listing on the platform
  • 51 percent of hosts in Edinburgh said they used the income from hosting on Airbnb to make ends meet
  • 77 percent of guests who stayed with Airbnb in Scotland said they use the platform for a more local, authentic experience.

While guests using Airbnb accounted for just 3% of visitors to Scotland, the Airbnb community boosted the Scottish economy by over £693 million in 2018.

Read the submission here

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