Another Welsh politician has waded into the debate over the proliferation of Airbnbs in the country, calling for them to be banned.
Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Aberconwy in next year’s Senedd election, Cynghorydd Llanrwst councillor Aaron Wynne, reckons the holiday rental business stops young people getting on the housing ladder and threatens hotels and locally run letting businesses.
More than a quarter of houses in Conwy are used as holiday homes and a growing number of homes for sale throughout the county are now regularly marketed by estate agents as being suitable to turn into Airbnb lets.
It follows attacks on the platform earlier this summer from fellow Welsh politicians who slammed news reports encouraging investors to buy holiday lets in the region; articles flagged up areas in Wales offering affordable housing to buy as holiday lets to cash in on the staycation boom.
Wynne argues that Airbnb properties should instead be used for family homes as housing stock shrinks. “Airbnb is a blight on our communities,” he says.
“It’s just not sustainable to have so much of our housing stock out of the reach of the people who want to and need to live here. The Welsh government needs to act and change the planning rules so homes can’t be turned over to be used for commercial interests that do not benefit our communities.”
He adds that holiday home owners are using Airbnbs as an extra source of income which damages the Conwy tourism industry.
“This has been a very difficult year for our hotels and guest houses so having holiday home owners making extra cash by turning their holiday home into an Airbnb is undercutting these businesses that are so important to the fabric of our communities.”