Plans from the Welsh Government to bring short-term lets up to appropriate standards of health and safety will benefit consumers, hospitality businesses and Welsh tourism.
Leading trade body UKHospitality Cymru has long been campaigning for a scheme that will bring short-term lets up to the standard of the established accommodation sector.
Today’s announcement from the Welsh Government to first introduce a registration scheme, followed by a licensing scheme, will go a long way to achieving that.
What has been announced?
Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, has announced that the Welsh Government will introduce legislation to the Senedd by the end of the year to bring in a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales.
The first phase will be a statutory registration scheme for all accommodation provides. The register will provide an overview of all visitor accommodation available in Wales and include details of who, where and how a business is operating.
Once the registration scheme is fully established, the second step will be to introduce a licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation. The Welsh Government said this will initially focus on confirming compliance with safety requirements, before looking at introducing quality standards at a later stage.
UKHospitality Cymru has been clear that this licensing scheme should not provide additional burden on established accommodation providers who are already heavily regulated.
David Chapman, Executive Director of UKHospitality Cymru, said: “The Welsh Government is absolutely right to create a level playing field and require all visitor accommodation to operate safely and to appropriate standards.
“I’m pleased that short-term lets will be brought up to the standards of the wider accommodation sector and the introduction of a registration scheme is a positive step to develop a proper understanding of where these businesses are.
“Not only will it demonstrate just how important our sector is to the Welsh economy, it can also provide additional information and data that may be useful to tackle wider issues, like housing and planning.
“These businesses are already subject to rigorous health and safety inspections, so the focus of the scheme should be on ensuring short-term lets are complying with regulations.
“The Welsh Government has listened closely to the thoughts and concerns of UKHospitality Cymru on the development of this scheme and I look forward to working with them to move this forward.”