Surge in Airbnb bookings

Rooms available to book on Airbnb have rocketed in number in major UK cities, leading to fears of “hollowed out communities” as tourists flock in.

Just over 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.

Edinburgh’s 12,000 listings work out to around one Airbnb listing for every 42 residents, while London’s Airbnb market equates to one listing per 112 residents.

Much of this accommodation is centred around Edinburgh’s Old Town – a huge draw for tourists especially during the annual Fringe festival. Airbnb said its activities had boosted the Scottish economy by £1.5m a day, and the UK economy as a whole by £3.5bn last year.

Private tours Edinburgh offer a wide range of tours of Scotland including Game of Thrones , Outlander, Highlands and whisky tours . Phone 07305-294773 for more details.

Data analysed by the BBC suggests that listings in Edinburgh doubled in three years, and shows a fourfold increase in spaces in London since 2015.

City of Edinburgh Council has called for licensing and London councils want a registration scheme for hosts.

Private tours of the Highlands including a visit to Glencoe, Black Mount and Buachaille Etive Mor . Your guide will take you to the best spots for taking pictures of the beautiful scenery of Glencoe and the Highlands . Phone 07305-294773 for more details. This photo tour is ideal for beginners/ intermediate photographers . Your photo guide will offer assistance as required with taking pictures. Our promise your guide will always be friendly , helpful and informative .
Private tours Edinburgh take you to Glencoe – see the stunning scenery of the paps of Glencoe , one of the most impressive peaks in Scotland. Glencoe is a beautiful rocky landscape featuring the Paps of Glencoe,“ giant mountains of solid rock. In the summer you might hear the piper in the car park playing a lament . When it goes quiet the silence is quite eery . Listen carefully and you might hear the wailing of ghosts from the Massacre of Glencoe. Your guide will take to the two best viewing points in Glencoe . One of the viewing points involves a short walk up the hillside facing the paps of Glencoe .
Doune castle pictures

Airbnb said it led the way on “clear and proportionate” rules.

“Airbnb is the only platform that voluntarily works with UK cities to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay tax. Other platforms and providers need to step up and follow our lead,” the company said.

“[The platform] allows local families and businesses to benefit from visitors to their communities.”

How many properties are listed?

Nearly 80,000 rooms or homes in London are listed on Airbnb – more than any other UK city, according to figures from housing advocacy site Inside Airbnb analysed by the BBC.

Chart showing how Airbnb listings have grown fourfold in London since 2015 and doubled in Edinburgh since 2016.
Map showing the Edinburgh areas with most Airbnb listings

One result has been concern among locals and politicians of a squeeze on housing for residents, the behaviour of some visitors in residential blocks, and differing tax treatment for traditional hotels and guesthouses.

Examples of anti-social behaviour in “party flats” have been highlighted by campaigners for greater regulation.

They included loud, late-night noise affecting one young woman’s exam preparation, and an amorous couple bursting into the home of a resident aged in her 80s before realising they had the wrong flat.

Councils say it is expensive and time-consuming to tackle such problems with their existing powers. They can only do so after complaints, rather than proactively.

“Short term lets are having a terrible impact. They are hollowing out communities, both in the city centre and increasingly across Edinburgh. Residents are putting up with high levels of anti-social behaviour and, very worryingly for us, we believe there is a huge impact on housing supply,” said Councillor Kate Campbell (SNP), housing convenor at City of Edinburgh Council.

“Housing in Edinburgh is under enormous pressure and we need to take every action we can to protect supply and keep homes affordable for residents, as well as protecting communities.”

The Scottish government has been asked to consider a licensing scheme – allowing for checks, safety requirements, and the potential for a cap on numbers. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart (SNP) said it was considering what measures could be required, which would be put to consultation “to ensure we get the balance of short-term lets right in Scotland”. He said there would be a further announcement within a week.

Airbnb said it took action when alerted to rare cases of bad behaviour, pointed out that hosts are subject to income and council taxes, and said it welcomed regulation.

However, it also argued that its growth had little effect on the availability of homes for locals to buy or rent, highlighting various studies which had shown that house building had not kept up with demand, and had pushed up prices as a result.

It said entire home listings on Airbnb represented less than 0.6% of the available housing stock in Scotland, and some listings on its site were bed and breakfasts, or small hotels, rather than residential property.

The Outlaw King tour one day private tour

Take a tour of The Outlaw King film locations from Edinburgh , Scotland , featuring Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace .

Phone 07305-294773 or contact us online for more details and bookings . Starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce this lavish Netflix production was filmed at 45 different locations across Scotland .

  • Blackness Castle
  • Linlithgow Palace
  • Bannockburn
  • Doune Castle
  • Dunfermline Abbey

Robert the Bruce was born on the 11th of July 1274 in Turnberry Castle and died in 1329 in Cardross. Bruce’s body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey and his heart is buried in the ruins of Melrose Abbey.

The Outlaw King Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland at Scone Palace on the Stone of Destiny.

Robert the Bruce , the Outlaw King
Robert the Bruce , the Outlaw King

Robert was King of Scotland from 1306 until his death in 1329.

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

Blackness Castle plays a major role in the 120 million dollar movie blockbuster The Outlaw King, premiered in Edinburgh on 19 October and released on Netflix on 9 November .

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace , Linlithgow tours

Dunfermline Abbey is where King Robert the Bruce was buried .

Bannockburn is the scene of the epic battle where Robert’s army defeated the English in  a major turning point in the Wars of Independence .

Doune Castle was a major film location . Doune Castle is one of the best places to visit in Europe in summer.

The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence.

blackness castle tours
Blackness Castle stars in movie blockbuster The Outlaw King

blackness castle outlander
Blackness Castle stars in The Outlaw King

Many or most of the extras involved are Scottish – the production company was besieged by Scots aiming to play the part of foot soldiers in King Robert’s army when it advertised for extras last year. Veteran actor James Cosmo,  who appears in the film reportedly says it could be Scotland’s greatest ever movie, likely to replicate for key Scottish historic sites the phenomenal surge of visitors to Stirling in the wake of the 1995 release of Braveheart (in which he also starred). That will mean new droves of tourists heading for Blackness, already benefiting from its appearance in Outlander, and to many other locations across the central belt associated with the Scottish Wars of Independence.

The Outlaw King tours – one day private tour

  • tour price £250
  • five film locations
  • full day tour

Exclusions

  • lunch and refreshments
  • entrance tickets

Phone 07305-294773 or contact us online for bookings .

Souvenir t-shirts , phone cases and prints are available for purchase online .

Rounding off a golden year for major Scottish-based history epics a new movie about Mary Queen of Scots also launches in November. Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland has the talent and the opportunity to grow its TV sector and the job of Screen Scotland is to make sure we seize the moment.”

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with the Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. “

The movie is on general release from November 9, and its initial trailer clip, launched this week, registered 26 million views in the first 24 hours. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-G1BME8FKw Filmed entirely in 45 locations in Scotland, the movie was shot in key locations around the country, including Berwick.

More details about the Outlaw King tour on Visitscotland .