Trade body UKHospitality has urged the Government to introduce a check-based tourist accommodation scheme, to help create a level playing field for all accommodation providers.
In its submission to the recent consultation on short term lets registration (for England), UKHospitality highlights that the introduction of a registration scheme for all short-term let properties would build a fairer, safer and more sustainable industry.
With the growth of the digital economy, under the current scheme some sites can unfairly benefit from a lack of regulation and a reduced tax burden. Meanwhile, the wider hospitality sector is over-burdened by regulation and taxes at the same time as it struggles to recover from the ravages of the pandemic.
Implementing a registration scheme for all would have other benefits too, such as ensuring all short-let accommodation was safe for consumers and would help to address the imbalance between short- and long-term rentals in communities such as rural and coastal towns, and tourism hot spots.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said:
“UKHospitality recognises and welcomes competition and a varied range of business models in the accommodation sector. However, at present there simply isn’t a level playing field across accommodation providers.
“There is a real lack of transparency around where short-term letting properties are located, how they operate and who operates them. A registration scheme, with the ability to check and enforce compliance of rules and regulations already being followed by other accommodation businesses, would fundamentally address the issue of transparency.
“We also believe that such a scheme will help to eradicate the issues currently facing certain areas of the UK where there is an imbalance in long and short-term accommodation available and will therefore go some way to building a more sustainable tourism industry in the UK.”