Visitor levy backers boosted by legislation plans

BACKERS of a visitor levy scheme in Edinburgh have been buoyed by plans by the Scottish Government to introduce the legislation required to make it possible.

Yesterday, announcing her government’s Programme for Government, 2022-23, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said, here: “We will also introduce a Local Visitor Levy Bill to give local authorities additional fiscal flexibility. This will help councils, if they so choose, to fund activities related to tourism and related infrastructure.”

And in an announcement, here, The City of Edinburgh Council said: The council has long campaigned for the powers to introduce a levy – which would see overnight visitors pay a small additional charge on their accommodation – and has produced a substantial body of work to back its case. This included a detailed consultation in 2018, which saw 85 per cent of the 2,500 respondents expressing strong support for its introduction. This figure included a majority of Edinburgh-based businesses and accommodation providers.

“It was estimated then that a levy in Edinburgh could raise in the region of £15m per year to invest in sustainable tourism and managing the impact of tourism on the city.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland