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How Airbnb rentals are affecting Isle of Skye

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Its rugged landscapes have provided the backdrop to many a Hollywood blockbuster, but as the worldwide fame of the Hebridean island of Skye continues to rise, it risks joining the likes of Venice, Barcelona and Amsterdam as a tourist hotspot in danger of being overrun.

Now new figures show the scale of private houses and rooms being rented out to visitors through apps and websites such as Airbnb, but the limited number of homes on this most idyllic of holiday destinations means islanders are at risk of being squeezed out.

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48 Comments
  1. the man with the green cortina says

    Fk air bnb there places and services are a joke!

  2. 3991 0019 says

    the locals on skye and prettymuch everywhere else in the highlands have been pushed out at a slower pace over decades by a big influx of primarily english incomers, often retired people and more generally people who've profited from selling their expensive houses in england to buy relatively cheaper (but rapidly climbing) property up here. anyone who's familiar with the highlands could tell you at the drop of a hat that most of the tourist industry here is run by english people too. even in this vid, most of the "locals" arent from skye or even the highlands.

    in a place like skye and many other parts of the highlands there is very little for the locals, unless you're ok to be complicit in seeing your home trampled by hordes of tourists and sell your soul for tourism money (the crofter, you could see he was a bit ashamed… "supply and demand") there is little work. things that arent tourist related get no investment, the land itself is bare and supports little to no primary sector economic activity, because it's all owned by estates who keep such high amounts of deer and grouse that trees cant grow, it's a victorian situation. half of the real locals moved to the central belt because they feel alienated in their own areas because most of the local institutions are run by people with little knowledge of their culture, that and they cant afford the inflated house prices on 10 hour per week jobs as B&B cleaners.

  3. Borderlands says

    It isn't an exclusively Skye problem, or a Scottish one. Most property in the national parks and AONBs in Britain are owned by the wealthy and or retirees. The islands are smaller so the effect is more concentrated, but trying to find affordable homes for locals anywhere attractive is virtually impossible.

  4. 4711 A says

    I was there in June of 2013 and there were relatively few tourists. I remember climbing a mountain with my girlfriend and we were all alone… We stayed in an Airbnb too, I think it had a Broadford address. The owner said he built the house himself. I have fond memories of Scotland. I hate to hear people being forced out of their apartments to make room for tourists though. I hope they build affordable new housing soon. There should be plenty of new tourist money to do it if it's shared. The same thing happened in Barcelona Spain, the city was overrun with an avalanche of tourists. A relative few get rich at the expense of many. Skye is still in the early stages I think so there's time to take corrective action. Encourage tourism but be more fair about the allocation of the new found money. Maybe small inconspicuous tourist taxes here and there…

  5. Charlie Bronson says

    Look into the SNP's policy called "new scots". The problem doesn't lie only with tourists.

  6. Paul Charles says

    Tightly time-tabled tourism!! So build more b and bs and hotels!! The demand is obviously there so let the market dictate!!

  7. out and about with ash says

    I was born and grew up on the isle of skye aint been there in years im there ona couple of months i dnt think its air bnb skye nees more infrastructure

  8. spf_fishing says

    63 families waiting for home's…. Wtf is the council doing then? How is this the tourists fault? They support local businesses, granted the tourists are annoying but there'd be less money up there if it were not for tourism.

  9. spf_fishing says

    63 families waiting for home's…. Wtf is the council doing then? How is this the tourists fault? They support local businesses, granted the tourists are annoying but there'd be less money up there if it were not for tourism.

  10. Carrie Perkins says

    That is not normal weather!

  11. William Bibb says

    City of San Diego, California, has decided that residential zoning does not currently permit non-specified uses such as short-term vacation rentals. All uses must be specified. The City Council has not been able to come up with ordinances that will balance all the interests of the community and those who wish to make money by AirBNB, etc. Lot's of luck. Hermosa Beach outlawed short-term vacation rental out of single family residences. The Court of Appeal upheld the City ordinance. Carmel is fighting short-term rentals, too.

  12. HitMeQuick says

    I absolutely coin it in doing air Bnb in London. They fucking love it. They get an entire 2 bed flat with private garden, lounge and kitchen diner for 75 quid a night. That beats hotels.

  13. Evan Hughes says

    Take down the bridge.

  14. peter lewis says

    That European funded monstrosity of a road shafted skye

  15. petrzalkai says

    what is so special about that place? looks overrated

  16. Rob Burley says

    Airbnb has been a godsend for the consumer that's why big coorperations hate it and report negatively on it. Airbnb is the epitome of the sharing economy allowing ordinary people to have wider and more affordable access to places that were once unreachable whilst also letting people have an additional income to subsidize wages which have failed to increase with the cost of living. Open your eyes people!

  17. Graeme Souter says

    I'm Scottish and have been to Skye. It's overrated big time. Orkney is way better

  18. Benny Hedgehog says

    I’ll never use Airbnb. I don’t think it’s right to fill the coffers of some wanker who’s bought a second,third home to rent out. No thoughts to the damage on the community they have.

  19. Jessica Moore says

    Airbnb is the worst – they destroy local culture by inflicting it with tourists and kicking locals out of housing. I live in a tourist destination and a woman has come through and rented out a place (doesn’t live there) in my building and now it is a revolving door of randoms. The community is affected.

  20. Frank Butcher says

    How Channel 4 News are destroying democracy in the UK…. You should run that title …..

  21. Critical Animation says

    0:08 a Clinton voter.

  22. ed fisher says

    they've had a socialist/snp government for years,yet still no meaningful action on housing

  23. tmjcbs says

    Overpopulation is affecting the whole world……

  24. Tamara says

    I'm so glad I was able to visit this magnificent place before it gets ruined

  25. CornishPasty says

    It is a hugely massive problem in the spring and summer but come autumn and winter it's not so bad. No one wants to be on Skye or in Highland that time of year as a tourist. It seems a lot of the locals and those who have bought only for letting are putting all their bets on 3-4 months of the year. It is true that there is a big housing problem and hopefully the council can put caps on who can and can't rent. How else can those restaurant and hotel workers afford to live there? The biggest problem I've seen (my parents live in Kyle) is the buses full of Chinese and Eastern European tourists who literally get dumped for 30 minutes at a time at different locations. They stampede out of those buses with no regard for anyone else because they want a photo. It makes it really unpleasant if you live there – my parents are older and my mum has been pushed into a few times as she's leaving her favorite coffee place – not nice. The buses are also not suitable for the roads – they need to use smaller buses not only for safety but to avoid roadside erosion.

  26. County Secession says

    Build hotels and housing. Problem solved.

  27. J Gabriel says

    Speaking to a friend of mine on Skye, who sees a large influx of English residents/Londoners selling up with an idea of "im going to be rugged and leave the city" approach, Land rover purchase etc lol. He says "give them 6 months or a winter, and they soon sell up or Airbnb". Admittedly even he now ventures to the continent in the winter, and returns seasonally.

    I can't imagine the AirBnb Tourist problem being that bad in winter. I wonder if it's seasonal that these poor people and families are without a home.

    Its a tough one the world over. Does Skye have a tourist tax like Venice that can be put into small scale housing developments for year round and locals all together? but what's stopping those new houses being on Airbnb… Tourism is great, but also destructive to many things.
    Thank goodness for the islands residents that see the bigger picture.

  28. lynda Thackrey says

    No surprise to the Scottish people , This part of Scotland has not been manged correctly . Iv tired to visit Skye in the last two years and i cant find accommodation that suits my annual leave calendar , because i don't drive i have to find accommodation in local towns ect . Skye is obviously a popular destination over the last plus years, tourist visiting from all over the world, if this issues isn't dealt with i reckon Skye will eventually lose its popularity.

  29. chefprov says

    We are coming in December,,,,, low season! Hoe we don’t “put anyone out” ! 😢

  30. pukeylukey199 says

    I live in wales and this skye (never heard of it until now like most "news" now) doesn't look all that special… Am i missing something?

  31. pukeylukey199 says

    3:10 thats how every tourist place starts then people move to get those jobs and then look stable tourism

  32. YT says

    I live here.

  33. EclipseSteven says

    Ayy up! Here’s ma home town

  34. Lord Jock says

    I am a Skye local and there are too many tourists on the island. Driving around on roads that were never meant to accommodate camper vans and tour buses.Most of them drive around at 40 with no regard to the line of cars behind them. I live 10 miles from Portree and if I have an appointment in town I have to add 20 mins to my trip in because of these tourists. The place is full of English retirees who like nothing better than to whine about everything. Tourism brings in money but only for a select few. The local supermarket the Coop is way overpriced with very little choice.A lot of locals will do a trip to Inverness or Ft William to go to Aldi or Lidls and stock up on items that we cant get on the island. There is no shop that sells clothes on Skye unless you want to pay a fortune on a tweed shawl or the likes. It is a beautiful island with stunning views but it's ruined by the hundreds of tourists who visit every day. The Old Man O Storr is like Picadilly circus most of the time.If your planning a nice quiet getaway then don't bother coming to Skye .

  35. H.Walker says

    4:28 to 4:33 comment if you see it.

  36. Torcallum Muillear says

    The Highlands should be renamed HighEngland. Nothing but English people in the shops, the pubs the hotels etc etc and they’re all rude, smug, miserable and ultra reserved. Ever wondered why the English are disliked all over the world, well then, come to HighEngland.

  37. GentleGoat says

    the sheeps sucking milk is so damn cute

  38. kughougi kghiykug says

    I cant see the problem, Im a landlord on this isle and think the locals are ungrateful for the tourist industry I help support, they should be thanking us for providing them with jobs.

  39. Iain says

    absolutely sustainable

  40. Xtina Nunyabizz says

    Wonder how many “mainland Chinese”

  41. mj W30 says

    Skye’s problem started when they built the bridge lol not air BnB

  42. Glenn Speirs says

    I stay on skye tourists you are a nightmare parking where you shouldnt give people abuse when they tell you are parking on private property respect the locals

  43. Movie Jose says

    SKYEXIT is the answer

  44. Art3mis says

    why is that the fault of airbnb?

  45. K Wallace says

    Bring back the bridge tolls!! With the money raised spent on local projects.

  46. The_London Dude says

    AirBnB is not the problem. The challenge are people and councils with dated mentalities like this channel…

  47. fx902 says

    They know best what to do with their homes.
    At least this influx of money will make them less likely to abandon their island to the big cities in search of work.

  48. William Eddy says

    There are roughly 10,000 people on the Isle of Skye . I was told that 6,000 are involved in tourism in some capacity . While there is fishing , aqua culture , farming , forestry and sheep farming I get the impression that they are marginal industries . In a sense they exist to provide a backdrop to the tourist industry . They provide "colour" for the tourists . If the  tourists weren`t coming some of these other industries would disappear or at least be diminished .

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