In a recent survey of its business members, over half of respondents said that tourism businesses in the sharing economy should be subject to greater regulation and more specifically, the same regulations as other UK tourism providers.
Additionally, over 71% of members said further regulation would provide more protection for customers and create a “level playing field” for all UK businesses that operate in the tourism sector.
According to the group, the new research, undertaken in collaboration with Qa research, “echoes” the views shared by the Tourism Alliance, which earlier this month wrote to the new minister for arts, heritage and tourism, Rebecca Pow MP, regarding the need to ensure that the UK’s tourism products and services remain safe and legal.
Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound, said: “We will always welcome those innovations in the tourism industry that provide our visitors with greater choice. The majority of sharing economy businesses have brought to market some fantastic new products and present an exciting new way to travel, but it’s only fair that all businesses in the UK tourism industry – including those in the sharing economy – are regulated as appropriate so that customers rights and more importantly their safety are protected.
“The global tourism industry is very competitive and we need to continue giving international visitors a reason to choose the UK over other destinations. If our industry doesn’t operate on a level playing field, we can’t guarantee quality which will jeopardise the UK’s global reputation as a world class tourism destination.”