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Travel Tech Companies Release Open Letter to the First Minister

On 21st March 2023, five Travel Tech companies based in Scotland released an Open Letter to the First Minister.

This highlights the extent of the damage being caused by the Short Term Let legislation, which will have ripple effects across a multitude of industries as well as the tourism sector of Scotland.

Dear First Minister,

We, the undersigned, wish to express our grave concerns of the impact of Short Term Lets (STL) regulatory legislation and planning controls currently being introduced.

As travel technology software companies founded and operating in Scotland, our existence relies on a thriving Short Term Lets sector in Scotland. We would not have been founded without it.

We employ highly skilled developers, designers and marketers in Scotland to build our products and services that we sell around the world.

There is a clear desire to nurture a native startup culture (£42 million is being spent on establishing a Scottish Tech Scaler) but the proposed legislation could kill off startups in this sector.

We are a small part of the tertiary services and industries that Short Term Lets support. For example maintenance, administrative, cleaning and linen providers.

We support our colleagues of the Association of Scottish Self Caterers and the Scottish Tourism Alliance as they raise awareness of the impact of current and proposed legislation. The impact of which seems to be completely misunderstood and underappreciated.

We recognise the importance and value of appropriately designed regulatory measures but in our view the legislation is too onerous and will impose an unnecessary burden on thousands of small Short Term Lets businesses.

Direct impact to our clients:

Over-three quarters (77.5%) found that the STL legislation was a significant or a medium threat to their business.

Moffat Centre Short-Term Let Accommodation Evaluation Review 2022/23

Wider economic impacts:

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society estimates a third of their programme could be lost in 2024.

This contraction would obviously have a negative impact on the 4,000+ jobs and over £200m in direct additional economic impact which the Festivals bring, as well as weakening the wider leisure and visitor economy employing 44,000 in Edinburgh alone.

Evidence to Scottish Parliament by Julia Amour, Director of Festivals Edinburgh, 7th Feb 2023

We request that an urgent review is carried out of the measures that will significantly affect thousands of small businesses.

We are all willing to provide advice, knowledge and support for appropriate legislation, delivered in a reasonable timescale.

Kind regards,







cc John Swinney, Deputy First Minister

Ivan McKee, Minister for Tourism

All MSPs

Scottish Tourism Alliance

Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers


You can read the full Open Letter here.

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