The UK’s Office for National Statistics will soon have access to data on short-term lets listed on Airbnb, Booking .com and Expedia Group as a result of a new sharing agreement.
There has long been criticism of the short lets sector for an absence of hard data on its size and growth; in turn, critics of local authorities and politicians who have spoken of the alleged detrimental impact of short lets have suggested they may have exaggerated the effect of the sector on the wider rental market.
The cross-platform initiative to provide data was brokered by the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) and means anonymised and aggregated UK data will be published for the first time from spring 2024. It will include the number of guests using short-term let platforms and the number of nights booked. Data will be shared on a quarterly basis.
Amanda Cupples, Northern Europe General Manager at Airbnb, says: “At Airbnb we want to help strengthen communities, support tourism, and boost income of local families. This data will be a vital resource for authorities at all levels to better understand short-term letting activity in their communities, and capture the positive benefits of tourism.”
The STAA’s research director, Louise Birritteri, says: "This agreement marks a pivotal moment for short term lets in the UK, demonstrating its commitment to responsible data sharing with public authorities such as the ONS. We expect this data to illustrate the positive impact that short-term lets bring to the UK tourism economy, while also empowering public authorities with the insights they need to make informed, data-driven policy decisions, ensuring a balanced approach that benefits both local communities and the broader economy."
The announcement comes ahead of a government response to consultations on new rules for short-term lets in England later this year.
Back in the spring the government consulted on new measures designed to control the rise in short lets; the proposed planning changes would allow councils to stop homes being turned into short lets; there has been a separate consultation on a national registration scheme for short lets.
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.