Cornwall tourism crackdown as bosses plan holiday homes register

Visit Cornwall estimates about five million holidaymakers travel to the county each year and has been looking at ways of cutting numbers for some time.

During the pandemic, Visit Cornwall warned visitors to stay away after beaches became overcrowded and services overwhelmed.

An analysis by Cornwall Live, a local news website, suggested 20 times more homes were available for holiday lets on Airbnb than for local people to rent.

The registration scheme, also backed by South East Cornwall Tourism Association, Penzance & District Tourism Association, We are Bude, Visit Tamar Valley, Visit Falmouth, and Land’s End Accommodation, will go out for consultation in the coming weeks.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said: “This is an opportunity to provide a level playing field at last, with all providers bearing the same level of costs. Visitors to Cornwall will be reassured that wherever they stay the accommodation will comply with all necessary legislation to ensure they enjoy a safe, enjoyable holiday.”

He suggested that the register would help prevent holidaymakers from contracting Legionnaires disease from hot tubs reused after every let when water was not flushed out.

He also claimed private home renters occasionally left out complimentary snacks, inadvertently containing nuts, that could cause dangerous allergic reactions.

Mr Bell said the scheme would be “a driver” to assist in the “reduction of periods of over-tourism… caused by the increased ad-hoc accommodation that has sprung up in peak season”..

He said the changes could lead to more tourists coming at less fashionable times of the year instead.

Visit Cornwall, according to its website, was funded by Cornwall Council with a £300,00 grant to help it become a community interest company, set up to benefit the local community. Its board is made up of local hoteliers, holiday park owners, a representative from the county council and other tourism aficionados.

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