UKHospitality (UKH) Scotland is urging the Scottish government to “stick with” a licensing plan for short-term lets.
The government has announced the publication of a draft licensing order for consultation, ahead of laying the final legislation at the Scottish Parliament in September, which will affect the country’s hospitality sector.
On the upcoming consultation, social justice secretary Shona Robinson said: “Regulation of short term lets is vital if we are to balance the needs and concerns of our communities with wider economic and tourism interests.
“Short-term lets can offer people a flexible and cheaper travel option and have contributed positively to our tourism industry and local economies across the country.”
Leon Thomson, UKH Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We will respond to ensure that the licencing scheme creates a level playing field that can assist traditional accommodation providers recover from the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic, whilst providing safety and confidence for visitors using short-term lets, as well as to local residents and communities.
“This is the third consultation on the introduction of licensing for this area, and the need for this scheme only continues to grow. The Scottish government must stick with its publicly stated commitment to deliver a robust licensing scheme and as soon as parliament returns after the summer recess.”
He added: “Furthermore, Scotland is facing a depopulation crisis in almost all rural areas, and the proliferation of short-term lets is reducing housing stock and driving up house prices and rents.
“This is having a knock-on effect on hospitality businesses that need to recruit and house workers and many of our rural members say housing shortages are contributing to the staffing issues they face.”