As the Visitor Levy Bill is debated in the Scottish Parliament, UKHospitality Scotland is urging MSPs to put the needs of accommodation businesses at the centre of debate.
The Scottish Government’s continued backing of an 18-month implementation period, despite conclusions from the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee to reduce it, is ‘essential’, according to UKHospitality Scotland.
The trade body continues to urge the Scottish Government to address the issue of cost recovery for our businesses. Current plans will leave already-strapped hotels responsible for the cost of implementing and administering the new Visitor Levy charges.
UKHospitality Scotland continues to call for a cap on any levy to be included in legislation, to avoid excessive charges, whilst highlighting the need for funds raised to be invested back into the visitor economy.
Leon Thompson, Executive Director for UKHospitality Scotland, said:
“Close engagement with business is critical for new legislation like the Visitor Levy Bill. We saw the disastrous consequences when business isn’t listened to during the development of the shambolic Deposit Return Scheme and that must be avoided.
“I’m very pleased that the Scottish Government has taken that on board and already backed hospitality through its support of an 18-month implementation period, in the face of the Bill Committee recommending it being slashed to just a year.
“As the Bill heads to the Scottish Parliament, other business-critical issues like cost recovery and a cap on charges need to be addressed.
“The most logical way to do this would be through a detailed economic assessment of the impact of the Visitor Levy on accommodation businesses, the economy and tourism in Scotland.
“This would plainly set out the facts of the impact of the levy and can be the basis of a discussion of how businesses can recoup their costs, which is entirely fair and reasonable. UKHospitality Scotland and its members all stand ready to continue to engage with the Scottish Government on the levy’s development.”