Tourist Tax Will Damage Highlands Tourism

UKHospitality has condemned Highland Council’s decision to move forward with a tourist tax.

Commenting on yesterday’s decision, UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “Additional taxes will only undermine Scotland’s, and the Highlands’, tourism offer and pile more costs on businesses.

“A tourist tax will increase costs for customers and reduce choice. It will only undermine investment and put jobs at risk. It is not valid to point to European countries as a justification for the tax as those countries have significantly lower rates of VAT. There is no justification for it.”

“The survey carried out by Highland Council was one-sided, opaque and gives no breakdown of who would be responsible for a tax. It contains no mechanism for targeting day-trippers to The Highlands and would only damage business confidence.

“It is pointless for any local authority in Scotland to be pushing forward with any measures to introduce a tourist tax until we have had clarity from the Scottish Government, anyway. It is disappointing to see the Council so easily move towards a measure that will only harm Scotland, and the Highlands’ tourism offer.”