Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton backed local short-term let businesses during a Scottish Conservative debate in Holyrood.
This comes after the Scottish Government said that they will plough ahead with their plans to introduce licencing for short-term lets across Scotland.
Ms Hamilton took opportunity during the debate to highlight the success of the growing industry in the Scottish Borders, from sustainable holiday cottages in Duns to agri-tourism retreats near Jedburgh.
She argued that the Scottish Government’s plan to introduce short-term let licencing will detrimentally impact places like the Borders the most, adding that an ill-thought through solution for an urban problem is being “forced upon rural areas” without a proper understanding of the true consequences that this will bring.
Borders MSP Rachael Hamilton, said: “Short-term lets are a vital part of our rural tourism economy here in the Scottish Borders, with hundreds of businesses relying on the visitors that come to see the attractions across the South of Scotland.
“The economic contribution of short-term lets is set to surpass one billion pounds per year within the next decade – one billion pounds of opportunity for local businesses and the jobs they support.
“When visiting businesses in the Borders that operate short-term lets, I am always struck by how conscious they are of the importance of supporting our local rural economy.
“Countless short-term let operators across the Borders region have been in touch with me to express their concerns over the SNP’s plans to create needless bureaucracy and further expense for rural tourism businesses, which will inevitably have a knock-on effect for everyone across the Scottish Borders.
“I urge the SNP Government to sit down with Border tourism businesses and work out a way to get this right for everyone.
“We need to ensure that this scheme is not forced upon rural businesses without due consideration of the concerns they have expressed.”