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  • Writer's pictureEco Nature Holidays

New Scottish Government Legislation

It’s a sad day here in the glen. Life feels like it just got a bit tougher. The Scottish government has voted to approve the short term letting legislation that will impact all small rural tourism businesses that have accommodation. Including self Catering and bed and breakfast places.

So why was it introduced? The official drive behind it was to allow local councils to control the amount of short term lets. Increase health and safety laws and stop anti social activity. There are well documented cases in urban areas of Edinburgh where many flats have been turned into Airbnb type accommodation. The concerns in these areas was this drives up the cost of housing and stops local people buying a property.

So what are the plans. Now under law anyone running a business that lets property on a short term basis will need to apply for license to operate. So holiday accommodation owners will need to apply pay a fee and ensure they have all the relevant requirements in place. This sound in principle a good thing but the implications are very different. Even if the property has been a holiday let for many decades you will now need planning permission and a license to operate. The cost will be high.

This brings us back to small businesses such as ours in very rural communities of Scotland. Costs will rise and therefore the price guests pay will unfortunately need to rise. The small rural businesses employ local people and support families to stay in those communities and that has now become much harder. If those businesses don’t survive what goes with it is all the associated spend that holiday makers bring to those small rural places. The pubs restaurant attractions and shop. But also all the businesses in the supply chain. Tourism in Scotland will suffer as supply of access is reduced and this will impact on the rural economy that struggles even in the best of time.

So today we as a family run business are concerned. Concerned that costs will rise that to keep going just won’t be sustainable and how that will impact on our area and community that we have come to love. The industry put out plans that would have supported not damaged the small rural businesses in the sector but unfortunately the government have pressed on.

So we will have to wait and see what now happens we still have hope as we emerge for the pandemic that our family life in the glen can continue but for today at least it has got a little harder and that makes us sad.


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