Tourism leaders are staging consultation events to gauge the views of the tourism sector about a proposal to introduce compulsory registration for all rented holiday accommodation providers in Cornwall.
The emergence of online marketing platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo has created an explosion in additional holiday accommodation.
This has led to over-tourism during peak periods and has added to the growing housing crisis with the loss of residential housing stock.
Tourism leaders say compulsory registration could help ease the pressure on the property market, with some operators – realising the regulations they have to comply with – potentially deciding to revert to residential letting.
South East Cornwall Tourism Association, Penzance & District Tourism Association, We are Bude, Visit Tamar Valley, Visit Falmouth, Land’s End Accommodation and Visit Cornwall have joined forces to bring the proposal forward for Cornwall to act a pilot area for the scheme.
Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “This is an opportunity to provide a level playing field at last, with all providers bearing the same level of costs.
“Visitors to Cornwall will be reassured that wherever they stay the accommodation will comply with all necessary legislation to ensure they enjoy a safe, enjoyable holiday.
“It will be a driver to assist in the reduction of periods of over-tourism in certain areas of Cornwall caused by the increased ad hoc accommodation that has sprung up in peak season and the associated issues that this creates.
“A compulsory registration system would enable a simple way to communicate legislative changes to operators to ensure everyone is up to speed and compliant.
“The generation of key data is a massive advantage to discover the scale of the situation but also a major resource to help with future planning, transport, and healthcare needs.
“It would also help to spread the visitor load more evenly within the county and, more importantly, throughout the year.”