Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has welcomed the Housing Minister’s announcement today (Thursday) that the Scottish Government will withdraw legislation for a short term lets licencing scheme to allow draft guidance to be developed.
Mr McArthur described the decision as one that will come as a ‘relief to tourism businesses in Orkney’ but went on to add that revised proposals must include proper consultation with rural and islands businesses.
Mr McArthur commented:
“While additional regulation in the tourism industry is required, these proposals were clearly going to have an unintended disproportionate effect on smaller businesses in Orkney and across other rural and island areas.
“The tourism sector has already faced considerable disruption and uncertainty in the last year and bringing in tougher regulations that would burden smaller accommodation providers with additional costs at this time would have been incredibly damaging for them. These businesses are vital to the recovery of tourism and wider economy in the islands.
“I’m therefore pleased that the Scottish Government has agreed to withdraw the scheme and review the guidance around it and I’m sure it will come as a relief to tourism businesses in Orkney. We now need to see better and proper consultation with rural businesses before the revised guidance appears before parliament in the summer.”