Bed and Breakfast closures following introduction of licensing requirements: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  • The number and the anticipated number of Bed and Breakfast providers who have closed, or will close, due to the introduction of the requirement to be licensed?
  • The impact and the anticipated impact of the loss of Bed and Breakfast accommodation on the tourism industry in Scotland for 2023?
  • The number of closed or anticipated-to-close Bed and Breakfast providers by region in Scotland due to the licensing requirements or from all cause closures?


Paragraphs 161 to 193 of the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA), published on 23 November 2021, sets out our analysis of the anticipated impact of the licensing legislation on the shortterm let sector, this includes bed and breakfast providers.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested about the actual impact of the licensing legislation on the short-term let sector. The reason why we don’t have the information is explained below:

The Scottish Government does not have the remaining information you have asked for because we do not collect this information. It may help to explain that since short-term lets as a category have not previously been subject to regulation, there are no official statistics on the size of the sector. The short-term let licensing scheme will provide comprehensive data on the short-term let sector in Scotland. This will provide details on short-term let licence applications at a national and local level, and include a breakdown by the type of short-term let (home sharing, home letting, secondary letting). However, it will not provide data specific to B&Bs as there is no policy justification or obvious legal mechanism to differentiate between “traditional” B&Bs and other forms of home sharing.

You may wish to contact one of the relevant tourism bodies such as the Scottish Bed & Breakfast Association, which is the trade association for B&B and guest house owners in Scotland, to find out whether they have this information and will disclose it to you.

The Scottish Government will be working with licensing authorities to undertake a review of short-term let activity in hotspot areas, to ensure the wider sector is still healthy and unintended consequences have been avoided, and to identify whether any further measures are required. We intend to set out the timing and scope of this in a letter to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee in due course. The letter will be available to view on the Scottish Government website at: Short-term lets: regulation information - (

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the remaining information you have requested.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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