Rural businesses reject a Statutory Licence to manage holiday accommodation

A voluntary registration scheme would better serve the tourist sector, holiday-makers and the tax payer
Tourism: walking, rambling

“The introduction of a statutory licence for holiday accommodation providers is overwhelmingly opposed by rural tourism providers,” says Nigel Hollett, Director, CLA Cymru as the deadline for responses to the Welsh Government consultation passes, (17th March).

“A licence will be a costly and onerous burden which will serve only to facilitate the introduction of a tourism tax and enable creeping regulation. It undermines the Welsh tourism sector’s competitiveness making Wales a less welcoming place for visitors.”

“Research undertaken with around 100 businesses during the consultation period, has told us how little scope they have to absorb additional costs. The majority of Welsh rural holiday lets command a modest annual margin of between £5,000 - £10,000 from three-or-fewer units. As many as 80% employ staff. More than half are farm-diversifications. Another aspect of the Welsh Government’s policy which sets a high threshold for a holiday let to qualify for Business Rates has led over 70% of our respondents to think again about running a holiday let.”

The Welsh Government needs to commit itself to support rural tourism – not only a key sector of the rural economy, but an industry which often directly supports farming

Nigel Hollett, CLA Cymru Director

"Our research tells us that holiday accommodation providers support the creation of a voluntary registration scheme. This would clearly identify genuine businesses which meet all the appropriate standards it would facilitate communications between the Welsh Government, local authorities and accommodation providers and, of course, it will not a burden on the public purse.”

Nigel continues, “There’s a consensus in the tourist sector that permanently committed operators who meet industry standards, need to be distinguishable from informal operators. Welsh tourism continues to be a stressed industry and it must be competitive with other parts of the UK.”