Out of interest....it is worth noting developments to the so called 'Tourism Tax' around the UK. In particular a recent response by Scottish Tourism Alliance to proposals being made by the Highland Council for such a tax. It looks as if the Council, in a recent consultation report has disregarded much of the advice, views and insights of three Chambers of Commerce – Inverness, Caithness and Fort William and five other business groups who strongly oppose the introduction of a tourist tax on the basis of the significant harm it would have on the tourism economy. This is in light of what is noted as 'at a time when Highland tourism is not as ‘booming’ as previously reported'.
An alarming omissions from the consultation, which we as an industry need to keep reiterating across the UK, is the consultation makes no mention of the fact that a tourist tax would be introduced in the context of the UK having one of the highest rates of VAT and even states that there are ‘no risks’, when in reality, the introduction of a tourist tax would have widespread, far reaching negative impacts. Also of interest according to the report’s data, is that of those who indicated that a Tourism Tax would influence their future behaviour, 52.3% indicated that a tourist tax would influence their decision to ‘go elsewhere’ which could mean that the Highlands loses 45,000 visitors and around £16 million in visitor spend a year which is significantly higher than the £5 – £10 million the Council would see a tourist tax generating.