Land use planning, tourism intensification and regulation of short term commercial visitor accommodation: the case of Edinburgh

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Many cities globally have seen an expansion of short-term rental accommodation (via online platforms) as a means of increasing capacity and encouraging additional tourism revenue. This has led in some cases to concern for more effective regulation, for instance via land use planning, because of problems such as loss of amenity. There are also concerns that this has led to displacement of the supply of traditional residential letting, as well as a rise in overall rents and capital values. This paper considers the case of Edinburgh and the associated potential of regulation via land-use planning. It explores how such regulation might seek to minimise problems while retaining benefits arising from expansion of the overall tourism sector and associated revenue. However, this is not straightforward, as evidenced by the significant variation in practice between cities this regard. In addition, there are significant associated problems related to the difficulties of detection, monitoring and enforcement in relation to letting activity. The experience of Edinburgh in these respects is instructive for many other cities globally which experience similar pressures.
urban, regeneration, tourism