The number of rooms available to book on Airbnb in Edinburgh and London has rocketed, according to data analysed by the BBC. It suggests that listings in Edinburgh doubled in three years, with a four-fold increase in London since 2015.
City of Edinburgh Council has called for licensing while London councils want a registration scheme for hosts, a move supported by trade body UKHospitality.
Almost 80,000 rooms or homes in London are listed on Airbnb, according to figures from housing advocacy site Inside Airbnb, more than any other UK city.
About 12,000 are listed in Edinburgh but the effect is greater than in London as this accounts for a much bigger proportion of the city’s property and population. Much of the accommodation is centred around Old Town, which is a huge draw for tourists, especially during Edinburgh Festival. Edinburgh’s 12,000 Airbnb listings work out to about one for every 42 residents, while London’s equates to one per 112 residents.
Airbnb said its activities had boosted the Scottish economy by £1.5m a day and the UK economy as a whole last year by £3.5bn.