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New EU Regulation For Tipperary’s Self-Catering Sector.

The Irish Self-Catering Federation (ISCF), the largest representative body for self-catering properties in Ireland, says tomorrow’s anticipated signing of the EU’s Regulation on short-term rental data collection and sharing in Brussels will have positive, long-term consequences for the sector in Tipperary.

Once signed and after official publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, EU Member States will have a 24-month period to establish the mechanisms for data exchanges, which are already being prepared with the support of the Commission.

Ms Máire ní Mhurchú, (Chair of the ISCF) speaking at a recent Tourism Networking event in March last 2024.

By setting a data collection and sharing framework for the EU Member States, the EU Regulation harmonises registration requirements for short term lets when introduced by national authorities, clarify rules to ensure registration numbers are displayed and checked on online booking platforms, and streamlines data sharing between online platforms and public authorities.

Ms Máire ní Mhurchú, (Chairperson of the ISCF), who has travelled to the European Parliament for the signing process, says the EU Regulation will quantify the amount of available self-catering in Tipperary and will raise and maintain standards across the industry.

Ms ní Mhurchú says the move will also strengthen the sustainability of the sector by highlighting the economic important role played by small family-run businesses in rural communities.

The ISCF CEO is warning, however, that the implementation of the STTL Register must be accompanied by the introduction of clear planning guidelines around the development of glamping and other self-catering businesses, the absence of which she says is exacerbating the ongoing critical shortage of available bed nights in Ireland.

“The Register, adapted to the standards of the EU Regulation, will help to support the further development of the self-catering sector as making rural communities economically viable is core EU principle,” she explained. “For far too long in Ireland, hotel accommodation has been legislated for and promoted which is of little benefit to rural communities as such developments are only regarded as economically viable for large urban centres like Cork, Galway, Waterford, Limerick and Dublin as evidenced in the Saville and Crowe reports into the domestic tourism and hospitality market.”

She continued, “We also welcome the appointment of Fáilte Ireland as the statutory authority with responsibility for implementing the Register. This move will place the self-catering sector on a par with other tourism organisations, such as the Irish Hotels Federation and Camping Ireland.”

Commenting on the requirement for updated planning legislation for the development of short-term tourist lettings in Ireland, Ms. ní Mhurchú said, “The planning issues for short term rentals needs to be urgently reviewed. Currently, self-catering accommodation is looked on as housing units rather than economic value units.”

Ms Ní Mhurchú warned that the supplementary income of many families operating within the sector will be significantly impacted unless full clarification is issued regarding the planning permission process ahead of the implementation of the STTL Register.

“We are calling on Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to sit down with the ISCF to ensure no self-catering businesses, many of which are small family rural tourism businesses, are lost. Issues with planning need to be sorted first, with a derogation for all existing STTL businesses. Clear guidelines for planners and owners are essential before the Register is introduced”, she concluded.

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