New islands holiday rental firm to filter profits into local communities
Isleholiday.com, a new business advertising holiday rentals on the Scottish islands is set to donate all profits to benefit local people.
The new firm has been established by community interest company Isle Develop, which is based on the Isle of Tiree.
The venture has been established as community focused alternative to Airbnb and as a way of raising funds for affordable housing and long term rental properties on the Scottish islands.
The aim behind the initiative is to ensure that more revenue generated by tourism in the islands stays within in local communities.
Like Airbnb, isleholiday will charge commission on every booking taken – 12% as standard, or 10% for properties owned by islanders.
The cash generated will go towards running the business, which already supports two island jobs–but all surplus will go into the Isle Develop fund.
The fund will focus on supporting small businesses, community schemes and housing projects, The Scotman reports.
The founders of the firm say they want to make sure the islands remain great places to live and work as well as great places to visit.
Rhoda Meek, founder of Isle Develop, said: “The housing problems caused by the short-term letting market in the islands are well documented. It will take time to change that situation and involve action at a local and national government level. But in the meantime, the letting market exists.
“Our goal is to use it to generate revenue which can be used to the benefit of our communities - particularly in relation to affordable housing and longterm rental options for residents.”
Travellers using the portal will also benefit from local knowledge. Ms Meek added: “We know our berne rays from our Burras. By working together with accommodation providers and local organisations we can offer rich information about island life before visitors arrive - from driving on single-track roads to public facilities, events and great local businesses to visit during their stay.”
“We want to put faces to places and start to change the narrative from destination first, to community first.”