Short term letting reforms will kill thousands of tourism jobs across rural Ireland

Press Release  From Irish

Self-Catering Federation

 

For Release Tuesday 24/01/2023 @ 12.00 and not before then

 

 

Short term letting reforms will kill thousands of tourism jobs across rural Ireland 

 

The Irish Self Catering Federation (ISCF) has warned that government reforms to short term letting laws will kill thousands of tourism jobs across rural Ireland while also putting thousands of small accommodation providers out of business. The Minister for Tourism announced a Registration for STR ( Short-term Rental) on 10/12/2022, which the ISCF had been calling for since 2017. The detail of the Registration system details calling for planning permission for all STR owners, despite the fact that the Department of Housing is yet to produce Guidelines for Planners and STR owners in urban RPZ areas. The ISCF has been calling for such guidelines for over a year and sent in submissions to the Dept of Housing.

 

ISCF Chair Máire Ni Mhurchú said, “Self catering accommodation brings thousands of tourists to every corner of the country each year. Last December, the government announced that it wants to shut down thousands of operators in rural Ireland by insisting they apply for planning permission when applying for the Register for STR. And it is clear from the announcement that the government will ensure planning permission is refused.

 

“Self catering providers are shocked and appalled by these proposals. We fully support the need for short term operators to register their businesses which was also announced. But the inclusion of a new planning requirement for rural operators will be devastating to rural tourism and rural jobs, where self catering and short term lets are often the only form of accommodation available, particularly in scenic rural areas.”

 

“We have already seen ridiculous situations where planning requirements in rural parts of the country that are on the outskirts of Rent Pressure Zones have seen family farms being refused permission to existing businesses as well as for those who want to develop new farm stay accommodation.

 

“Every tour operator, restaurant, shop, pub and retailer in rural Ireland should be terrified of these proposals, which come at a time when large amounts of tourism accommodation has already been taken off the market.

 

“So far, the government has shown nothing but contempt for Ireland’s self catering industry. There has been no consultation with industry on these new laws, how they will work or how registration will work.  The Minister for Tourism has refused to meet with us to discuss our industry and how our members’ livelihoods will be affected. A meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media is meeting on Wednesday 25/01/2023 with the Department of Tourism officials and Failte Ireland who will be the Statutory body to manage the Register. The stakeholders representative the ISCF, ITIC and other stakeholders have been asked to give a written submission, but have not been invited to present industry members who run SME rural businesses. 

 

“I am calling on the Minister for Tourism to immediately halt these reforms and to enter talks with the ISCF as the representative organisation for the industry. Minister Martin needs to talk to the tourism industry on how she can support sustainable rural jobs and rural tourism, instead of ploughing ahead with proposals to put people out of business and on the dole.

 

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