Cornwall locations affected by ‘overtourism’ will see a cap on the number of holiday rentals, says company boss

A holiday company has pledged to limit the number of holiday rentals available in parts of Cornwall which are affected by ‘overtourism’. Sawday’s, which has nearly 2,000 UK holiday properties, was praised for the decision announced today and hopes more businesses will follow suit.

The company, which bills itself as an ethical travel company, has announced it is limiting the number of places to stay in destinations affected by overtourism – Mousehole, St Ives and St Minver in Cornwall being three of the key areas highlighted Consequently. In St Minver alone, over 70% of properties are holiday rentals or second homes.

The company has identified 14 heavily impacted destinations in the UK and Europe, from Skye to Barcelona, ​​and says its strategy will be to limit the number of properties listed by its three popular holiday brands, Sawday’s, Canopy & Stars and Paws & Stay.

Read more: St Ives – a visitor’s guide to Cornwall’s ‘quintessential’ seaside town

A spokesperson said Cornwall has been flagged as a rural area where overtourism is impacting communities due to traffic, parking issues, pollution and litter, as well as an increase in rentals holidays in secondary residences, and it indicates that “the number of visitors must be managed in a responsible way” to avoid overtourism.

“Too many can mean destructive pressure on infrastructure and overwhelm local services, while second home ownership and unregulated rentals can mean unaffordable housing for residents,” a spokesperson said. “With the current no-limits approach, overcrowded landmarks and seasonal overcrowding in cities and towns mean damage to local ecosystems and strain on the environment and public services.”

“As the global travel industry reopens after the pandemic, we believe the time is right to introduce lasting changes to help customers travel better – better for them as travellers, better for communities and landscapes. they visit.” said Mike Bevens, Sawday’s general manager.

As cities have taken measures to combat overcrowding, such as Dubrovnik’s limit on cruise ships and Venice’s fees for day visitors, Sawday’s will be the first accommodation provider to limit its places of stay, he says. The company says it recognizes the role the travel and tourism industry plays in the problem and hopes that by taking this small step it can set an example for other businesses and travelers to play their part. in the fight against overtourism.



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Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, called the decision responsible. He said: “It’s exactly the responsible actions that will ensure the right balance between the benefits of tourism and the very negative aspects of overtourism.”

“The constant drive for insatiable growth by some vacation operators, accommodation platforms and large rental companies is unsustainable,” continued Mike Bevens. “Communities need viable visitor numbers to areas affected by overtourism – a more targeted approach that has a lighter impact and generates higher revenue is better for everyone. The industry cannot continue gorging on the bounty of local infrastructure, communities and the environment without considering the longer-term effects.

“We know that we are a small business and that our actions alone will not solve overtourism, but we are aware that we are not adding to the challenges that tourism can bring. We hope that our policy sends an important message that encourages d ‘other organizations to be more We believe in putting communities before maximizing profits and we encourage slower, more responsible modes of travel It’s time for the travel industry to take the lead.

As a result of this decision, there will be a maximum number of five properties each available on Sawadays for rent in St Ives, Mousehole and St Minver and three each available on Paws & Stay. The company did not share details of caps on the number of properties in these areas on its Canopy & Stars site.

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