The survey was sent out to around 1200 self-catering and B+B businesses across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh with 162 responses (13.5%) received within the first week.
The majority of responses (53%) came from people with a single self-catering unit. 26% of respondents have a B+B and 18% have multiple self-catering units.
Just over a third of respondents (57) have gathered all the documentation required and submitted the application for a license. 28 of those businesses have received their license. This would potentially indicate that up to 82% of self-catering and B+B businesses in Skye and Lochalsh are still to be granted a license.
The survey asked businesses to rank the difficulty of certain aspects of the Licensing process. Access to Tradespeople to carry out inspections and certification is the most significant challenge ahead of the administrative burden and cost.
SkyeConnect Chair, Gary Curley is concerned about the impact of the licensing legislation:
“The potential loss of 120 of Skye and Lochalsh’s self-catering and B+B businesses would have a significant impact on the visitor economy. It is hard enough for visitors to find accommodation during peak periods. Any loss of bed numbers would only exacerbate the problem and deter people from considering a holiday on Skye. It has been suggested that this legislation will address the chronic housing shortage. It is absolutely clear that this will not be the case and any suggestion to the contrary is misleading the public. It is also a concern that the legislation is putting such a strain on business owners already struggling with the cost of living crisis.”