UKHospitality has published analysis that demonstrates the economic and employment cost of a tourist tax in Scotland. The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the principles of a Transient Visitor Levy – also know more commonly as a tourist tax – that could be implemented by local authorities.
The analysis finds that if a tourist tax was introduced across the country it will lead to a hit to the Scottish economy of over £200 million and the loss of nearly 6,000 jobs. The pain would be felt all across Scotland, but the analysis shows the hardest-hit areas are Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands.
The tax will also increase the costs of domestic tourism for Scots and deter visitors from overseas.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “This ill-thought through proposal will damage Scotland’s reputation as a world-class tourism destination, increase costs for Scottish people and lead to a loss of jobs and investment at a critical time for the sector.
The hospitality sector is already over-taxed, with sky-high business rates and one of the highest VAT rates in Europe. A new tax will put businesses, the vast majority which are SMEs, under even greater risk. It is time that this proposal was shelved and for the Scottish Government to discuss with business how we can secure a bright and sustainable future for Scottish business.”