Cornwall Vacation Rental Registration: Mandatory Registration to Tackle Tourism Problems | Travel News | Travel

The proposed system would require holiday accommodation providers to register their property. It is hoped the program will make tourists safer and combat overtourism.

But could this end up putting off some tourists? Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall, spoke to to explain the plans.

He said: ‘I was brought up in Cornwall in the 70s and 80s. At that time all of a sudden we were very popular, every road leading to any resort there were B&B signs buried in hedges.

“So a lot of things like fire regulations were brought in as people got involved without thinking about the consequences.”

Malcolm said a new mandatory registration system would ensure customer safety as suppliers would have to comply with the legislation.

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He said: “The most important thing is the safety of the guest. With platforms like Airbnb, it’s very easy for people to put their property on the market for vacation rental without fully or even marginally understanding what they’ve done.

“There are a lot of people who have started putting up properties in particular over the past two years during the pandemic.

“This has resulted in people entering the market and buying homes without realizing the security responsibilities.”

Malcolm believes the plan will protect customers from threats such as Legionnaires’ disease which can be transmitted in dirty hot tubs.


As Cornwall was overrun with visitors in 2021, many residents complained that local infrastructure could not cope.

Some local residents have also been driven out of areas as house prices rise to meet high demand for vacation rentals.

Malcolm thinks recording might alleviate the problem. He said: “I think some people, when they realize what vacation rental entails, might decide not to and go back to residential rental.

“We will also have absolute knowledge of the number of rooms rented, so hopefully residents think that is a positive thing.

“It was well received on social media by people who normally pick on us. But I most likely think it’s too little, too late.

Malcolm told that upgrading a property for the holidays could cost up to £5,000.

He said: “I think many of the entrants who entered the holiday market last year were the worst examples of people exploiting the price issue.

“People have heard they can get £3,000 for a week’s hire, but in a normal year they will find they can’t charge that.

“There’s cleaning the property every week and checking the property and then they’ll think it’s not worth it.”

Malcolm said if the plan comes to fruition, it will take vacation owners around 15 minutes to register their property.

They will then be invited to relevant webinars and awareness sessions, as well as educated on regulations.

The plan is also supported by the South East Cornwall Tourism Association, Penzance & District Tourism Association, We are Bude, Tamar Valley, Visit Falmouth and Land’s End Accommodation.

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