Airbnb claims a proposal to regulate short lets could put 17,000 jobs at risk and take almost £1m a day out of the economy.
The platform cites the figures in its response to the Scottish Government’s consultation process on how to regulate short lets in that country.
Scottish Government proposals include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure all short-term lets are safe, and to address issues faced by neighbours.
The regulations, if passed by the Holyrood Parliament, would come into force by April 2021. These would also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets - through licensing, for example.
Airbnb says research by BiGGAR, a consultancy, highlights how the platform apparently boosts the Scottish economy by £677m a year and supports more than 33,500 Scottish jobs – money that currently stays with local families and communities in Scotland.
Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, says: “These proposals will put jobs at risk, price Scottish families out of hosting and shift tourism pounds away from those that rely on the income to help make ends meet.
“It can’t be right that hosts need to rip up their floors and hire consultants before they can welcome a guest into their home for the night. We want to find a balanced approach and work with the government to regulate short-term lets while protecting livelihoods, ensuring we prioritise the needs of local families who need the additional income most and who are the beating heart of Scottish hospitality.”
Airbnb says it supports the idea of a national registration system that “gives local authorities visibility of short-term let activity in their area” so they can decide whether they require a licensing system in the first place.
But it warns that any rules imposed by government should be “proportionate to the level of activity provided with lighter rules for occasional hosts and more thorough conditions for commercial operators.”
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