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Short Let registration fee must be reasonable insists Airbnb

Airbnb says any new rules for short lets in Wales should protect hosts and the benefits they bring to the tourism economy.

In its response to the official Welsh Government consultation on short lets - which advocates sharper restrictions on the spread of short lets - Airbnb says: “We will work closely and constructively with the Welsh Government on the details of their proposals as we seek to ensure that new rules deliver clarity for Hosts, communities and local authorities. 

“The vast majority of Hosts in Wales on Airbnb share just one listing, often their main home, with the typical UK host earning just over £6,000 a year – equivalent to two months of additional pay for the median UK household. With almost four in 10 hosts saying they use the income from Airbnb to afford the rising cost of living, listing their space can often be an economic lifeline for many.”


The platform says it wants a national registration system which is consistent across Wales, that is online, simple and easy to use for hosts while giving the Welsh Government, local authorities and other public bodies data on short-term letting and other accommodation activity. 

“Fees should be proportionate to the scale and type of hosting activity, acknowledging the big difference between buy to let speculators and hosts who occasionally share their homes on Airbnb to make ends meet” Airbnb continues.

It adds that it what it calls “trying economic times” it is essential that those sharing a space in their home and making a vibrant economic contribution to the Welsh tourism recovery are not discouraged by any new rules.

Theo Lomas, head of public policy and government relations for Airbnb in Northern Europe, says: “Hosting provides vital income to many families across Wales as the cost of living continues to rise. 

“New rules must be affordable and easy to understand if they are to work for everyone, and ensure that Welsh households are not prevented from sharing their homes and accessing income they cannot afford to lose. We look forward to working with the Welsh government to unlock the benefits of hosting for regular people while clamping down on speculators and big businesses that drive housing concerns and over-tourism.”

Airbnb claims to play a valuable role in Wales’ tourism economy. 

According to a study by Oxford Economics, Airbnb guests are estimated to have contributed £107m to the Welsh economy and directly supported 3,613 jobs in 2019. 

More than a third of these were in the restaurant industry, and around a quarter in retail. Airbnb guests are estimated to have supported 6.8 per cent of all tourism activity in Wales, equivalent to 0.2 per cent of Wales’ total GDP.


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