The Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Communities Committee has voted to push ahead with regulation of short-term lets, such as Airbnb properties, which could ensure a more "level playing field" for hospitality businesses.
According to committee documents, pre-pandemic there were just under 32,000 Airbnb listings in Scotland, which were not regulated in the same way as hotels.
The committee voted in favour of creating a national licensing scheme allowing local authorities to regulate properties being used for short-term lets. Local authorities would also have the ability to introduce ‘control areas' in places where short-term lets are in high numbers and deemed to be adversely affecting communities.
UKHospitality Scotland executive director Willie Macleod said: "There are further parliamentary stages to be gone through before the statutory instruments can be finalised, but this should result in a more even-handed competitive position within the heavily regulated hotel industry.
"Regulation of short-term lets is long overdue, so it is encouraging to see the Scottish government pushing ahead with legislation that will benefit consumers and assist with awareness of, and compliance with, relevant regulations.
"The past few years has seen a boom in short-term letting, which has brought with it a host of issues for residents and customers and highlighted serious issues around fairness. This is not about stifling innovation. Regulation is necessary in order to ensure that customers are protected and there is a level playing field for businesses."