Airbnb, which has been criticised by some for its impact on local rental markets, is to set up its own ‘tax’ in one city.
The short lets platform will contribute £5 to local causes for every booking made in the city during August in an effort to “rebalance tourism.”
The SNP-led Scottish Government and several local councils in the country have been sharply critical of the impact short lets have on the local rental market, taking properties out of the long term lettings sector.
Airbnb says money raised will go towards a fund managed by hosts from Edinburgh and community organisations, and will back local projects in the city.
Amanda Cupples, general manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, says: “We are determined to do our part to help rebalance tourism in Scotland and to ensure that the return of travel is safe, sustainable and benefits everyone.
“The Edinburgh Community Fund will highlight how each stay can contribute to Edinburgh’s recovery from the pandemic in addition to the money earned by local hosts or spent by guests in the community.”
The platform says it also hopes to ease pressure on hotspots by spreading travel more widely across Scotland.
The platform is running a campaign to promote the Scottish Lowlands to spread the benefits of tourism to this part of Scotland and avoid overcrowding in other destinations.
Airbnb claims it supports the idea of regulation and wants the SNP administration to consider a mandatory registration system to be introduced “that will help address local concerns.”