Edinburgh Airbnb bookings up by 70%

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Airbnb bookings in Edinburgh have soared by 70% to more than 1.1 million stays, a report shows.

One in five tourists to Scotland's capital now use the website rather than book a hotel.

Almost a third (31%) of bookings are now taken by landlords with three or more properties listed on the site.

The report was conducted by Colliers International looking at data from 2017. The study was carried out in partnership with Hotelschool The Hague.

The statistics come at a time when tourist destinations around the world have been calling for Airbnb to be regulated, capped or even banned.

Alistair Letham, a director for Colliers International in Edinburgh, said: "It's accommodation platform is unregulated, unlike other parts of the market, such as hotels and guest houses - and demands for licensing and regulation have been called for by politicians.

"The question for local authorities and regulators is the scope and effectiveness of a future regulatory framework.

"However, you can't blame property owners for taking the opportunity that has been provided.

"These statistics do show that there is a huge and growing demand for reasonably-priced visitor accommodation in the city, and the reported 120,000 visitors booking through Airbnb in Edinburgh in August 2018 alone.

"Airbnb is clearly filling a gap in the supply of affordable accommodation in Edinburgh, in the peak season.

"But it also highlights that this demand could also be met through the additional provision of more limited service hotel accommodation and aparthotels."

The research shows private rooms remain the most popular type of accommodation on Airbnb in Edinburgh, representing almost 38% of all bookings, at an average of £61 per night.

It is followed by one-bedroom properties (26%), which have seen a slight rise in popularity since 2016.

The most notable shift, however, has been towards larger properties with bookings of three and four bedroom properties up 8% and 17% respectively year-on-year, with average daily rates substantially higher than the Edinburgh average.

2017 also saw a significant increase in the supply of available accommodation on Airbnb in Edinburgh.

While 31% of units are provided by multi-listers with three or more properties, currently just 9% of supply is provided by those with 10 or more units.

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