Airbnb have announced “that it will collaborate with hosts, communities and politicians across the UK on proposal for a clear, modern and simple registration system for short-term rentals in UK cities.”
Starting today 26 September they intend to, “begin a 6 month roadshow of major cities across the UK to meet with policymakers, city leaders and local hosts to share the positive impacts of home sharing, listening to proposals for a registration system of short term lets and discuss how it can work together with everyone to help make home sharing part of the solution to local challenges”. They are proposing to collate their findings and proposals for a registration system in a “white paper” to be presented to “government, policymakers city leaders and other key stakeholders in 2020”.
“Proposed destinations for Airbnb’s UK roadshow include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Bath, Manchester, Brighton and the ‘South West’ (Cornwall) among others”.
Airbnb allegedly has a history, internationally of offering to voluntarily cooperate with Government and City authorities, where and when it starts to look likely that a potentially more robust legislative solution could be about to be considered or implemented. They also have the financial clout to mount very impressive PR campaigns and roll out committed host where and whenever necessary to support their case.
Currently the UK is recognised has having one of the least robust approaches to the sharing accommodation economy. Currently there are very clearly moves afoot to correct this, starting with the Scottish Government. There is also growing disquiet among civic leaders, local authorities and tourism businesses and tourism industry bodies across much of the rest of the UK. Looking at the situation internationally, it would not be unusual for Airbnb to propose a major City by City solution, rather than a unified home nation, or better still a British/UK approach.
The sharing accommodation sector is I know causing significant problems for destinations and destination management ranging from issues around the quality and safety of the product, through damage to residential amenity and place making, to an increase in the problems of freeloading of the back of the hard to sustain work of destination partnerships.
We will continue to raise our concerns and work with other industry bodies to pursue the safe, (clean) and legal agenda with Government and others, regardless of the ongoing Airbnb consultation.
Individual destination mangers may wish to try and ensure that they and their businesses engage with the Airbnb roadshow, if and when it is in their own area or, reading between the lines, it passes through some major City destination somewhere in your region. We will endeavour to clarify what the roadshow’s programme is as soon as possible. If anyone has access to the detail let me know.
The Airbnb press release has been added to the grow list of “recent and relevant older articles” (5 paragraph) on our sharing economy page at: https://britishdestinations.net/tourism-the-sharing-economy-and-its-wider-implications/