We want to establish a statutory registration and licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation providers in Wales.
The registration and licensing scheme will create a register of all types of visitor accommodation.This will:
- tell us who is operating in the sector
- help accommodation providers show they meet our safety and quality standards
- improve the experience and safety of visitors in Wales
We are introducing this scheme as part of our Co-operation Agreement collaboration with Plaid Cymru. Introducing a statutory licensing scheme for holidays lets is also a Welsh Government Programme for Government commitment.
We aim to publish a draft Bill on these proposals before the end of the year.
We want to show visitors how seriously we take their safety and the high standards we expect in tourism. We also want to make sure the rules for accommodation providers are fair and reasonable.
We are currently considering best practice to design a scheme that is simple and easy to use.
The Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru commits to a statutory licensing scheme for holiday lets. This aims to solve the problems caused by second homes and short-term holiday rentals. These can make it hard for locals to find and afford housing in our communities.
In July 2022, the First Minister and the Leader of Plaid Cymru agreed to introduce a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation. This includes short-term lets.
The registration and licensing scheme will be established in three phases:
- Registration phase: all visitor accommodation providers in Wales will need to register. During this process, they will share details including ownership, location, and how they operate.
- Safety licensing phase: in order to operate, accommodation providers will need a licence. The licence will be confirmation that they meet certain safety standards.
- Quality licensing phase: this will add quality standards to the licensing.
The scheme will improve safety and quality in Welsh accommodations. This will ensure that accommodations continue to maintain a good reputation.
We will give notice and support to accommodation providers during the process.
The register will also help us to:
- better understand the sector and help inform future policy
- communicate and engage with the sector
- share best practice and provide updates around compliance requirements
- support another commitment, the introduction of a visitor levy.
A licence fee will apply and will need to be periodically renewed.
Find out more about the proposals in the Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden MS’ statement: Plenary 09/01/2024 - Welsh Parliament (senedd.wales)
How we are consulting
We held a public consultation on the proposed scheme: Statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation providers in Wales.
We held further consultation events in spring 2023 across Wales. These focused on specific elements of the scheme. Attendees represented national, regional and local tourism associations as well as representatives from:
- local authorities
- online travel agents
- farming and countryside unions and associations
- self-catering agencies.
The Statutory licensing scheme for visitor accommodation providers: views of consumers and residents report presents survey results of some of the scheme’s proposals.
As work progresses, we will continue to engage and consult with our stakeholders including businesses, communities and visitors.
Announcements about the scheme will be made via the Visit Wales industry newsletters and bulletins.