Plans to introduce a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation in Wales have been announced by the Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden today (9 January 2024) with legislation expected to be introduced to the Senedd before the end of the year.
The registration and licensing scheme is intended to deliver a register of visitor accommodation types and to enable providers to demonstrate compliance with safety and quality requirements.
It 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.
This follows a public consultation, extensive engagement with the sector, as well as a recently published survey that found 89% of visitors considered it important the accommodation they stay in is operating safely.
Many parts of the world have already adopted licensing, certification or registration schemes across their visitor accommodation sectors and the Welsh Government has been considering best practice to design one that is simple and easy to use for accommodation providers in Wales.
Across the UK, Northern Ireland has had a certification scheme established for all visitor accommodation since 1992, with Scotland having recently introduced a licensing scheme for short term lets. The UK Government is also pursuing a registration approach for short term lets.
In Wales, the first phase will be a statutory registration scheme for all accommodation providers, which will – for the first time – provide a register on the broad range of visitor accommodation available across the country and will include details on who is operating in the sector, where they are operating, and how they are operating.
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