The Scottish self-catering industry has slammed ministers for dismissing its concerns over a licensing regime for short-term letting accommodation, as new figures show a majority of operators have still to apply to the scheme shortly before it is due to go live in October.

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers has declared today that the Scottish Government has “casually dismissed” its concerns over the “costly and onerous nature of short-term let licensing”.

Ministers are introducing the scheme to address the impact of the rise of unregulated Airbnb-style short-term letting accommodation, including the effects on the supply of housing for local residents and concern over anti-social behaviour.

The licensing scheme, which was due to be launched in March before being delayed for six months, is mandatory for all short-term let accommodation across Scotland, including holiday cottages, B&Bs, guest houses, pods, and yurts.

READ MORE: Investment chief steps down with attack on rates policy

But the scheme has consistently come under fire from the self-catering industry, which has warned over the cost of complying with the system.

A recent survey of around 1,270 short-let businesses by the ASSC found more than 60% of operators had yet to apply for a licence.

In addition, it said, the Scottish Government’s own figures showed that only 16% of the estimated short-term lets have applied, and that with just 34 days to go until the deadline, just 8% had been granted a licence.

The ASSC, which represents more than 1,700 members, said today that many operators had already left the sector because of the regulatory burden and warned that more will follow suit due to the impact of the regulations.

But it said that despite repeatedly flagging its concerns to the Scottish Government, its misgivings have been ignored and that it has been rebuffed in its requests for a meeting with First Minister Humza Yousaf.

It wants to meet Mr Yousaf “as soon as possible to help save jobs and livelihoods in the self-catering sector and work to put in place a fair, lawful and proportionate regulatory framework”.

READ MORE: Have Barbie and Oppenheimer sparked cinema revival?

The Herald:

Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the ASSC, above, said: “This is unfortunately the latest example of the casual disregard the Scottish Government shown towards the tourism industry. They failed to appoint a dedicated tourism minister but when they did, they’ve put their fingers in their ears when our sector has expressed concern about licensing.

“All of our outstanding concerns and alternative regulatory approaches were recently brushed aside by ministers. We’re meant to have a New Deal for Business but it appears to be the same old same old approach from the Scottish Government, hitting small businesses and rural areas in the pocket.

“With the clock ticking down to the licensing deadline, we need a sense of urgency and not complacency.

"Another policy disaster is set to unfold, and we sincerely hope the First Minister can get round the table before it is too late.”