What is isleHoliday?

isleHoliday is a holiday house booking website with a difference.

It is run by a social enterprise based in the Scottish islands. Isle Develop CIC runs digital projects which support sustainable island economies.

When you book your holiday house through isleHoliday, 100% of the profit goes back into supporting the business, and growing the Isle Develop Fund.

How is it different to Airbnb or other channels?

It’s pretty similar in the sense that you can find a place to stay and book and pay for it online.

But - it is fundamentally different. It is run by an island-based Social Enterprise. The profit doesn’t go to California. All surplus after running the business (which includes 2 jobs based in islands), goes into a fund which supports micro businesses and housing projects in the islands, in the form of grants.

The long term goal is to generate enough surplus to build housing which can be used for long term rental - allowing people to live and work locally and grow our resident populations.

Isn’t this perpetuating the problem of second homes and short term lets?

The 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.

Why are you doing this?

Second home ownership - and specifically the holiday letting market - is a challenge in the Scottish islands. In some areas more than 40% of properties lie empty outside the holiday season.

Property values have been driven up to such an extent that most people wanting to live and work in the islands can no longer afford to buy. Jobs are often seasonal or insecure meaning making it even harder to buy. Because the value of properties are so inflated, most purchasers would make a loss renting long term. Instead they are rented out through the summer at premium rates.

As islanders we live in beautiful places - and people want to visit beautiful places - and many many businesses in the islands rely on them doing exactly that.

We want to welcome people!

We want to do that whilst putting faces to places and helping visitors better understand the islands they visit.

But most importantly, we want to make sure that there will be communities here for years to come - all year round.

By running a community-first, island booking platform we can start to make tourism better for everyone!

What is the current government advice on travelling to the Scottish islands?

The current Government advice is to take two lateral flow tests before travel. The first one should be taken three days before travel, the second on the day you plan to travel. If either result is positive, please contact your GP to request a PCR test and self-isolate until you receive the result. Do not travel if you have any reason to believe you may have COVID-19. 

Do I need to have had my COVID-19 vaccinations before travelling to the islands?

You do not have to have had your vaccinations, but please do follow Government advice and self-test before travel, requesting a PCR test if either lateral flow indicates a positive result. 

Do not travel if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

What should I do if I develop COVID symptoms during my visit?

You should self-isolate and follow NHS guidance if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have to self-isolate, please let your accommodation provider know. 

How can I keep myself and others safe during my visit?

Face coverings are still mandatory in Scotland. Unless you are exempt, you should wear one in public places, including on public transport, in cafés and restaurants and at indoor public attractions such as museums and galleries. 

The Scottish Government also advise that you take two lateral flow tests before travelling to the islands, to protect communities and resources. 

Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser as regularly as you can. 

Download the Protect Scotland app to protect yourself and others. The app will notify you if anyone you have been in close contact with has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Does isleHoliday offer insurance?

We have partnered with Superhog to offer Damage and Liability Guarantees for guests. Superhog provide:

    Protection for all bookings (damage and liability)

    £1 million Property Damage guarantee

    £1 million guest liability guarantee

Cancellation insurance is not included in the booking fee and we strongly recommend that guests take out holiday cancellation insurance.

We strongly recommend that all guests check that they have adequate travel insurance prior to booking.

We accept no liability for any other costs incurred including, but not limited to, ferry tickets, airfares or overnight accommodation whilst enroute.

Cancellation Policy

Because of the challenges posed by ferry availability, we know it can be difficult to re-let a property at short notice. Because of that we have chosen to implement a Strict 60 and 30 Day cancellation policy.

  • The 25% deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel up to 60 days before your stay, you will lose your 25% deposit.
  • We take the balancing payment 60 days before the date the booking starts. If the you cancel fewer than 60 days but more than 30 days before the booking start date you will be eligible for a 50% refund only.
  • If you cancel fewer than 30 days before the booking you will not be entitled to a refund.

Cancellation insurance is not included in the booking fee and we strongly recommend that guests take out holiday cancellation insurance. Covid 19 Cancellation Policy All bookings have the potential to be affected by legislation and/or lockdowns relating to Covid-19, either national or local.

If it is illegal for you to travel at the time of your booking you will receive a full refund.

If travel is not advised by the Government or local authority, and you or the Agent or Owner cancels the booking, you will receive a full refund.

Outside of these scenarios, our standard terms apply. Please see above.

Travel insurance may cover the following:

  • You or a family member get coronavirus before you're due to go.
  • You or a family member are told by the NHS to self-isolate before you're due to go.

We strongly recommend that all guests check that they have adequate travel insurance prior to booking. We accept no liability for any other costs incurred including, but not limited to, ferry tickets, airfares or overnight accommodation whilst enroute.


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