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Plans confirmed for registration and licensing scheme for visitor accommodation in Wales

09 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Barry Island. Photo Ben Birchall/PA Wire

The Welsh Government has announced plans to introduce a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden has announced that legislation is expected to be introduced to the Senedd before the end of the year.

The new scheme is designed to deliver a register of visitor accommodation types and to enable providers to demonstrate compliance with safety and quality requirements.

The government says the scheme is “intended to enhance the visitor experience and visitor safety expectations in Wales by ensuring anyone who lets out visitor accommodation meets a relevant set of standards”.

Its introduction follows a public consultation and discussions with the tourism sector.

A recently published survey that found 89% of visitors considered it important the accommodation they stay in is operating safely.


Dawn Bowden said: “Tourism makes an important contribution to the Welsh economy and to Welsh life so this information will be crucial in helping us better understand the sector, as well as helping to inform future policy decisions at a local and national level.

“The visitor economy is changing rapidly, and while the growth of online booking platforms has brought many benefits, there are concerns around compliance with existing requirements and the impact of short-term lets on housing stock and our communities.

“I’d like to thank businesses across the visitor economy for the enormous resilience they’ve shown through the unprecedented challenges of recent years. The input from the sector, visitors and communities has been invaluable to our work so far.

“We will continue this engagement as we develop the scheme.”

Co-operation Agreement

The Welsh Government’s Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru commits to a statutory licensing scheme for holiday lets as part of a package of measures to address the negative impact second homes and short-term holiday lets can have on the availability and affordability of housing for local people in communities.

Designated Member Siân Gwenllian said: “Our plans for a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales will help ensure the safety of visitors and seek to enhance the visitor experience.

“The plans will also create a more sustainable tourism offer – delivered in line with the needs and concerns of communities, particularly around housing.

“This will result in strengthened controls on residential properties operating as short-term holiday lets, leading to greater fair play for all.”

Many parts of the world have already adopted licensing, certification or registration schemes.

Northern Ireland has had a certification scheme for all visitor accommodation since 1992 and Scotland  recently introduced a licensing scheme for short term lets.

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Another Richard
Another Richard
1 month ago

More bureaucracy that will create extra work for hard-pressed local authorities already struggling to meet their statutory requirements, and is unlikely to offer any real benefits for visitors to Wales.

Stephen Morris
Stephen Morris
1 month ago

On the face of it this is a good move, but it’s been Gwlad’s policy since 2020, alongside a scheme for second homes and holiday lets to be subject to licensing and inspection in the same was as is already the case for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation).

This approach is simple to implement and doesn’t require new legislation, since councils already have the infrastructure and processes in place to carry it out.

1 month ago

Another excuse for the Welsh government to extort money from small businesses and the legislation gives them the power to move the goal posts whenever they want, to bring in extra money to shore up their failing local authorities. We need more help not more expenses

Eric Jones
Eric Jones
1 month ago

Lets be fair with the 20mph that we now have tourism will drop.I talked with two families that had booked for Tenby and already changed to Dorset and that was in September

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