New report highlights benefits of short-term rentals in Scotland

Scotland’s short-term rental sector generates £723 million of economic activity every year, a new report has claimed.

According to findings compiled by data research organisation Frontline on behalf of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), the sector supports 15,000 FTE jobs in Scotland and plays a significant role in Scotland’s growing tourism sector.

The trade body, which represents Scotland’s short-term rental and holiday homes sector, said the new report, Far More Than Just Houses: The Benefits of the Short-Term Rental Sector to Scotland, brings together serious research to demonstrate the real impact of the industry in Scotland.

Far More than Just Houses builds on previous work, including a previous Frontline study into the economic impact of short-term rentals and research undertaken by the Scottish Government, to show how essential short-term rentals are to the growing Scottish economy, the ASSC said.

The report also looks into other areas of short-term rental in Scotland, including its impact on housing supply, tax, and society.

ASSC chief executive, Fiona Campbell, said: “We at the ASSC are delighted to see the release of this important and timely report.

“The information and research contained in this excellent paper show how important the short-term rental sector is to the Scottish tourism and wider economies.

“We hope that stakeholders from across Scotland, particularly those who have drawn prejudicial conclusions about what we do, will take the time to read it and consider its findings.”

Craig Dalzell, head of policy and research at the Common Weal think tank, warned that the perceived economic benefit of short-term letting is offset by various longer term impacts caused by the practice.

He told Scottish Housing News: “It is right to cherish and support Scotland’s tourism sector but the rise of the short term renting of property is having a substantially destabilising effect on the housing market and is pushing people out of our cities.

“The claimed boost to the economy will be offset by the impact on the lives of people forced into longer commutes and more expensive housing in less quality areas as well as fostering the longer term impacts caused by breaking up communities.”

Craig Dalzell added: “Short term renting breeds short term thinking. We need a more comprehensive approach to town and community planning so that everyone can benefit from Scotland whether they live here or are visiting.”