A Labour MP says a surge in the number of stag and hen parties in her constituency - undertaken by people staying in Airbnbs and other short let properties - have led to “devastation” in the city.
York MP Rachael Maskell has told the BBC that the explosion in short lets was depleting the city’s mainstream housing stock.
She said there were 1,785 short-term holiday lets in York and added: "Party groups are coming to the city and we're seeing a big rise in Airbnbs where people are staying, so it's now not just contained in the city centre, it's growing out to the communities where people live.
"People are buying up housing stock, cash in hand, so the chance for first-time buyers trying to get their house is disappearing and it's pushing up the market price."
And on Twitter the MP wrote: "As we enter this new Parliament, I am bringing a focus on the devastation that Hen and Stag parties is bringing to York and why we must pivot to become a leading family friendly city for the sake of residents and our economy. York is better than this.”
The BBC article quotes a business spokesperson suggesting that those hiring Airbnbs and other short lets typically used national or global chains and so even in their spending did little to boost independent local businesses.
Meanwhile a York resident has written to a local newspaper saying: “I live in a street near Bishopthorpe Road and we have at least three Airbnb houses on our road.
“The problem is not just the noise but the gaps these soulless houses create in our community. We’re a friendly bunch of neighbours but we miss the three people or families that could be living in these houses if they were rented out or sold.
“There’s a wider impact though because these three households still need somewhere to live, so more new houses are built covering more green space.
“Until recently there were also several thriving bed and breakfast establishments in the area. I know of at least four that have closed since Airbnb became established around here, with a loss of employment and of business for local suppliers.
“So it’s not only about noise .... there are wider detriments to our local area.”
In recent days Airbnb has introduced features to its website which it claims will help avoid ‘over-tourism’.
It has deleted its default destination box and instead replaced it with ‘categories’ such as surfing, design and national parks in a bid to highlight alternatives to potential accommodation bookers.
The platform says it hopes this will help users discover alternative destinations that they would not necessarily have considered, and cut down on the glut of visitors to certain long-standing popular locations.
Users will still be able to find a holiday by destination and specific dates, but this will no longer be the default way to search.