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Sectoral Survey into the Impact of Licensing on the Self-Catering Sector Across Scotland

The ASSC has revealed the findings of the survey on the Scottish Government’s short-term let consultation, and the likely impact of its proposed licensing scheme.

The ASSC has numerous concerns about the proposed regulations, believing that they will have profoundly negative consequences for the £723m self-catering sector.

Our survey on the consultation elicited nearly 1,200 responses and provided useful insights from an important component part of Scotland’s tourism offering.

  • 95% believe that the regulations should be delayed whilst the sector recovers from Covid-19 and the same number believe the regulations require greater parliamentary scrutiny.
  • 83% oppose the proposed licensing scheme for short-term lets, while 68% are not supportive of short-term let control zones.
  • Around a third (31%) of businesses would be rendered unviable if the current proposals for a licensing were introduced, while two-thirds (64%) felt it would have a negative impact.
  • Nearly half (49%) would leave the self-catering sector if the proposed licensing scheme was introduced and of those 33% would leave the property empty or use it for family & friends.
  • Respondents maintained that the impact of the regulations would not be limited to self-catering. Respondents were of the view that the impact of the proposed licensing scheme would also entail negative knock-on effects for supply chains, such as hospitality (89%), local activity providers (83%) and local attractions (85%). 66% feel that it would have a detrimental impact on guests.
  • The short-term let consultation takes place at a precarious time for self-caterers in Scotland. 94% of respondents have stated an estimated negative financial impact of Covid-19 to their business, while 63% are feeling pessimistic about their business right now.

Our members are clear that the current proposals are not fit for purpose, do not provide a proportionate and balanced regulatory framework, and are a real threat to their livelihoods. ASSC members are professional operators who are a longstanding presence in their communities – but particularly in rural and remote areas – providing an economic benefit for the local area and businesses. Given the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on tourism, they are perplexed as to why this consultation and the regulations are proceeding at such a rapid pace given all that has occurred over the past 6-7 months, and when similar legislation (for example, the tourist tax) has been postponed due to the pandemic.

We remain greatly concerned that the haste of this work will not result in a well-designed and proportionate regulatory framework and could be one which may have negative consequences for our sector and Scottish tourism as a whole. The ASSC wants to work with the Scottish Government and MSPs to ensure a balanced and proportionate approach for business, tourism and local communities and would welcome the opportunity to speak with you on how we can achieve just that.

Read the full results: ASSC licensing survey

Read the press release.

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