Consultation events are to be held this week to gauge the reaction to a possible compulsory register for all Airbnb and other short let and holiday accommodation providers in part of the UK with a severe housing shortage.
The drive to introduce compulsory accommodation registration in Cornwall is being led by the tourism industry which - according to a statement - “recognises its responsibilities for the safety of all and to maximise compliance with safety regulations, but also the impact of non-compliant operators can have on the communities in which they operate and the environment.”
The statement goes on to says that the emergence of Airbnb and similar platforms has created an explosion in additional holiday accommodation.
“This has led to over-tourism during peak periods and has added to the growing housing crisis with the loss of residential housing stock.”
South East Cornwall Tourism Association, Penzance & District Tourism Association, Bude Area Tourist Board, Visit Tamar Valley, Visit Falmouth, Land’s End Accommodation and Visit Cornwall have joined forces to bring the proposal forward for Cornwall to act a pilot area for the scheme.
The bodies claim that compulsory registration could help ease the pressure on the residential letting market, with some operators - realising the regulations they have to comply with - potentially reverting to longer term lets.
Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, says: “This is an opportunity to provide a level playing field at last, with all providers bearing the same level of costs. Visitors to Cornwall will be reassured that wherever they stay the accommodation will comply with all necessary legislation to ensure they enjoy a safe, enjoyable holiday.
“It will be a driver to assist in the reduction of periods of over-tourism in certain areas of Cornwall caused by the increased ad-hoc accommodation that has sprung up in peak season and the associated issues that this creates.
“A compulsory registration system would enable a simple way to communicate legislative changes to operators to ensure everyone is up to speed and compliant.
“The generation of key data is a massive advantage to discover the scale of the situation but also a major resource to help with future planning, transport, and healthcare needs. It would also help to spread the visitor load more evenly within the county and, more importantly, throughout the year.”
The consultation events are being held in two locations in Cornwall on Thursday of this week.
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