Airbnb launches Edinburgh Community Fund to give back to locals this summer

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Airbnb has introduced the Edinburgh Community Fund to ensure locals benefit directly from tourism this summer, as the city rebuilds from the pandemic.

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Airbnb will donate five pounds from every booking Edinburgh in August in a bid to "rebalance" tourism.

August is the city's busiest month due to the plethora of festivals which take place and are hoped to go ahead this year.

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Airbnb will donate £5 from each stay that takes place in Edinburgh during the month of August.Airbnb will donate £5 from each stay that takes place in Edinburgh during the month of August.
Airbnb will donate £5 from each stay that takes place in Edinburgh during the month of August.

Short-term lets including from Airbnb have been blamed for "overtourism" resulting in antisocial behaviour, rising rents and missed bin collections.

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The SNP had drawn up plans to bring forward a tourist tax, or transient visitor levy, but has put the proposals on hold amid the pandemic.

Airbnb has supported plans for a tourist tax to be rolled out and has now called on the newly-formed Scottish Government to consider a mandatory registration system, which it says will help address local concerns in Edinburgh over anti-social behaviour and housing pressures.

The company opposed the Scottish Government's licensing regime for short-term lets, which was shelved before May's election and is expected to be re-presented to MSPs in the new term of parliament, The Herald reported.

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It also said it hopes to ease pressure on hotspots by spreading travel more widely across Scotland.

It is running a campaign to promote the Scottish Lowlands to spread the benefits of tourism to the regions and avoid overcrowding in usual popular destinations.

Amanda Cupples, general manager for northern Europe at Airbnb, said: "We are determined to do our part to help rebalance tourism in Scotland and to ensure that the return of travel is safe, sustainable and benefits everyone.

"The Edinburgh Community Fund will highlight how each stay can contribute to Edinburgh's recovery from the pandemic in addition to the money earned by local Hosts or spent by guests in the community."

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