Most respondents (65%) opposed the Welsh Government’s proposal to introduce a statutory licence to manage tourist accommodation in its consultation earlier this year, the consultation report says. The process received 1,595 responses.
CLA Policy and Engagement Adviser Emily Church says, “CLA Cymru engaged with rural holiday accommodation providers in physical and online events, we produced a video and further resources urging members to ensure their voice was heard in the consultation process. The subject was debated in our national policy committee, Polisi Cymru, and our four branch committees.”
“We opposed the proposal, but do see value in an industry-run, economical registration scheme, beneficial for the sector, government and customers. This could achieve many of the Welsh Government’s objectives.”
The Welsh Government’s consultation report tells us that the most common response themes replicated many of the points made in CLA Cymru’s own formal response. They were:-
- Managing the licence process will create significant administrative and financial burdens.
- The observation that the visitor accommodation market is highly competitive, it already operates efficiently and fairly, but this is a highly sensitive market which should not be disrupted.
- There was general disagreement with any form of statutory licensing.
The majority of respondents (61%) disagreed that the introduction of a statutory licensing scheme would ensure a level playing field for accommodation providers in Wales. Most respondents (64%) disagreed that the proposed licensing scheme would ensure enhanced confidence in visitor accommodation.
A large proportion (47%) of respondents also opposed the alternative solution of a registration scheme, although it was generally preferred to a licensing scheme. In addition, the majority of respondents (57%) disagreed with the proposed hybrid delivery of the scheme, where elements such as registering providers would be delivered nationally, and enforcement locally.
Will the Welsh Government listen to the respondents?
Emily adds, “Many holiday accommodation providers and stakeholders in Wales have lost confidence that the Welsh Government takes-on-board the views of those who are daily operating in the industry following some turbulent years.”
“The Welsh Government says it will reflect on the findings from the published reports, and will continue to collect views on this topic. The Government has confirmed it will provide an update later in the year setting out the proposals for how it intends to take the scheme forward.” Emily says, “CLA Cymru will continue to communicate with WG to reflect the views of our members.”