AIRBNB will contribute £5 for every booking made in Edinburgh during August to a community fund in a bid to “help rebalance tourism in Scotland”.

The company said that the project was in place of a tourist tax being set up in Scotland, which operates in many countries across the globe.

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.

City leaders in the capital have blamed Airbnb and other short-term let providers for contributing to a housing crisis in Edinburgh – with rising rents and homes taken out of use and instead used as commercial accommodation.

READ MORE: Airbnb regulation 'will put thousands of rural jobs at risk'

Airbnb has now announced the Edinburgh Community Fund which it claims will ensure locals benefit directly from tourism this summer, as the city rebuilds its economy.

The company will donate £5 from each stay that takes place in Edinburgh during the month of August, which includes the summer festival period. The money raised will go towards a fund managed by hosts from Edinburgh and community organisations, and will back local projects in the city.

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.”

The company also said it hopes to ease pressure on hotspots by spreading travel more widely across Scotland. The platform is running a campaign to promote the Scottish Lowlands to spread the benefits of tourism to this part of Scotland and avoid overcrowding in usual popular destinations.

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.