Bill threatens Multi million a year loss to rural areas

Press Release from the Irish Self-Catering Federation

 

For Release Tuesday 01/03/23

Re Oireachtas Committee on Tourism Meeting at 1.30 today

 

Bill threatens Multi million a year loss to rural areas”

 

The Irish Self-Catering Federations attended the Oireachtas Tourism Committee today to discuss the Registrations of STTL Bill 2023, which is going through the Dáil at present. The ISCF was accompanied by Eoghan o Mara Walsh of ITIC, and 2 members of the federation – James of Flynn of Trident Holiday Homes and Noelle Casey an individual self-catering owner and farmer. The committee also called Expedia, Airbnb, and Threshold to attend.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Tourism Committee today on behalf of the membership of the Irish Self-Catering Federation, (ISCF), Chairperson, Maire ni Mhurchu said that the Registrations of Short-Term Tourism Lettings Bill 2023 currently before the Oireachtas threatens Multi million per annum loss to rural Ireland.

The committee were well versed in the importance of the Self-Catering sector to rural and coastal Ireland, and the implications of the lack of planning Guidelines associated with this bill. The ISCF called for a Register for Short Term Rental when we last appeared at the Committee in 2019. This will quantify the number of self-catering units in all forms from log cabins, houses, apartments, boats, yurts, glamping, and all other accommodation for under 21 nights.

Since the Rent Pressure Zones have been introduced the ISCF has called for legitimate businesses to be allowed to continue in Business, stated Máire ní Mhurchú Chair of the ISCF.  All regulations of the industry needs to be balanced, proportionate and give clear data to Failte Ireland as the statutory agency. Both Eoghan and Maire supported the Register that Failte Ireland has been appointed as the statutory agency.

Eoghan o Mara Walsh of ITIC stated that ‘Tourism is the largest indigenous industry and biggest regional employer and the regulations as presently imposed rise denuding rural and coastal areas of self-catering properties.

While welcoming the Register but the foundation of the bill is flawed as it requires all self-catering owners to have a designated Self-Catering planning.  We have held talks with the Department of Housing for over a year, to discuss the requirement for Guidelines for Planners and Owners in Rent Pressure Zines (RPZ) , as the planners are working with legislation from 2016. To date no proposals on the table from the Department of Housing for urban areas. We called for no planning to be required of Self-Catering in rural and coastal areas, while in RPZ areas we need clear proportionate and balanced guidelines for existing businesses.

Round Table talks were called for by the ISCF and are ongoing with the Department to Tourism, Department of Housing and Failte Ireland as well as the international marketing companies.

James Flynn of Trident Holiday Homes speaking on behalf of the Irish Marketing Companies stated that Ireland would suffer a major loss of incoming tourists due the lack of available self-catering accommodation as well as an exodus of domestic tourists deciding to holiday abroad due to a lack of supply and an increase in rates caused by a reduction in supply. He further added  that Owners of Holiday Homes would not spend on getting planning and that instead they would retain houses for the use of family & friends with no notable increase in the stock of long term properties.

Noelle Casey on behalf of the individual members stated ‘As a family farm who diversified to have a self-catering luxury house 10 years ago, we give employment to local people in Kerry. But as we are in the Killarney Electoral area, we have recently been given an Enforcement notice to quit trading, with no recourse to fight our case.

 

ENDS 

 

About the Irish Self Catering Federation 

The Irish Self-Catering Federation is a non-profit national organisation representing owners of self-catering properties in Ireland, providing a quality assurance system for all members. ISCF member operators have over 6000 units of self-catering accommodation across Ireland.

 

Contact

ISCF.ie ISCF Office, Durrus, Co Cork – info@iscf.ie 086178 5654

Chairperson – Máire ní Mhurchú, Chair ISCF.IE on chair@iscf.ie 0873306306