Wednesday 16 October 2019

Clampdown on Airbnb sparks rural tourism fears

There are fears for tourism in rural Ireland. Stock photo
There are fears for tourism in rural Ireland. Stock photo
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The imminent clampdown on Airbnb lettings has sparked fears that it will hit rural tourism spots.

Fáilte Ireland has expressed concern about the clampdown - which will see stricter laws regulate the house-sharing industry.

Homeowners will now have to register with their local authority, and a cap of 90 days will apply for renting out on a short-term basis.

A person with a second home will require planning permission if they want to use it as a holiday rental.

It is generally accepted there will be a knock-on effect on bed-space for tourists in areas such as Dublin.

However, Fáilte Ireland is "concerned that there may also be a loss of stock in areas where self-catering accommodation is generally the only options for visitors", according to internal documents in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

In areas such as these, it may not be viable for hotels to operate.

But department officials said any potential loss of stock "depends on the attitude of local authorities to facilitate the provision of self-catering accommodation under the new regulations".

Overall, the department is not concerned that the new rules will have a significant impact on the overall tourism spend, according to the documents.

However, when asked by the Irish Independent, the department could not point to any analysis that had been done to quantify the impact of the new rules on the tourism sector.

"Fáilte Ireland is currently reviewing the detail of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government's announcement on proposed regulations regarding short-term lettings with a view to understanding the potential impacts on the tourism sector.

"They will continue to monitor the proposed legislation as it develops," a spokesperson said.

Irish Independent

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