The proportion of visitors to Edinburgh using Airbnb surged 70 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Commercial agency Colliers, which has been monitoring the short-lets platform in the UK, says this means 20 per cent of all overnight stays in Edinburgh were with Airbnb - that’s 1.1m stays.
Almost a third of Airbnb’s bookings in the city are now taken by landlords with three or more properties listed on the site.
The study, carried out in partnership with Hotelschool The Hague, comes at a time when tourist destinations around the world have been calling for Airbnb to be regulated, capped or even banned.
In Edinburgh, the city council recently announced that it would lobby the Scottish Government for a licensing system to potentially cap the number of Airbnb properties.
“You can’t blame property owners for taking the opportunity that has been provided. Given the shortage of affordable accommodation in Edinburgh, during the summer, you wouldn’t want to stifle this trade either. These statistics do show that there is a huge and growing demand for reasonably-priced visitor accommodation in the city, and the reported 120,000 visitors booking through Airbnb in Edinburgh in August 2018 alone” says a Colliers spokesman.
“Airbnb is clearly filling a gap in the supply of affordable accommodation in Edinburgh in the peak season. But it also highlights this demand could also be met through additional provision of more limited service hotel accommodation and aparthotels” he adds.