Tourism Society welcomes the government consultation on accommodation registration
The Tourism Society is pleased to support the government’s call for evidence on tourism accommodation registration, in response to the growth and impact of short-term holiday lettings. We are encouraging all of our members with relevant experience of this sector and its related impacts and issues to participate in the consultation.
The growth in short-term tourism-related lettings presents important opportunities and challenges for tourism in England. These have been well identified and described in the government’s consultation document. The Tourism Society has long recognised that individual economic opportunities should be encouraged but also need to be well managed, in order to optimise the benefits to local communities from tourism. In assessing the evidence and proposing solutions we believe that the government should seek:
- An evidence-based and proportionate response. Additional regulation that adds restrictions and burdens to small tourism businesses should be avoided unless they are clearly required to tackle identified problems.
- Policies and tools that meet specific needs. For example, more precision may be required on the difference between problems and appropriate tools related to quality, safety and behaviour (application of standards and regulations) and the supply of accommodation and housing (planning and development control).
- Clarity of terminology, targets and communication. Components of the process and targets for action should be clearly defined. For example, there is a need to avoid confusion between digital access media, such as platforms, and physical provision, such as a serviced bedroom or self-catering apartment. Vague terminology, such as the ‘sharing economy’, should be avoided. Improved communication and information can go some way towards addressing the problems.
- An equitable approach across the tourism sector. The Tourism Society supports the interests of all stakeholders in the tourism sector. The viability and prosperity of all types of tourism business should be of equal concern, with regulations that are equitably applied, while recognising the different resources and impacts of micro, small and larger businesses.
- A supported local response to local circumstances. The nature and scale of the impact of short-term lettings is likely to vary considerably between destinations. This may require the introduction of nationally standardised and recognised tools, but whose use is locally determined. At the same time, the local resources needed to implement policies should be recognised, with relevant support available where necessary.
The Tourism Society will await the results of this consultation with interest. We will be pleased to make a further input to the development of the policy response, based on the evidence presented.
We encourage all relevant organisations to submit their evidence HERE.
On behalf of the Tourism Society Board and Membership
Deborah Heather FTS