Welsh Government Launches Public Consultation on ‘Tourism Tax’ Plans

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on proposals to give local authorities the powers to introduce a visitor levy.

The levy or tax, would be a small charge paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.

“These proposals are about preparing for the future. Our intention is to bring about a sense of shared responsibility between residents and visitors, to protect, and invest in, our local areas,” Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans said.

“By asking visitors, whether they have travelled from within Wales or from further afield – to make a small contribution towards maintaining and enhancing the place they are visiting, we will encourage a more sustainable approach for tourism.”

Proposals for a visitor levy have been progressed through Welsh Government’s Co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru.

“While Wales may be the first place in the UK to introduce such a levy, we do not believe it will be the last – as we have seen recently, a visitor levy may soon be introduced in Edinburgh so Wales is not alone,” Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said.

“We want to continue to see a thriving tourism industry in Wales. It is vital we have sustainable, responsible tourism that works both for visitors and for the communities they are visiting.

“Should local authorities decide to implement a visitor levy, it could make a real difference in communities across Wales to help develop and protect local services and infrastructure.

“We welcome all views in understanding what would work well for Wales and encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation.”

Councillor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said: “Wales is known the world over as a top destination, but it’s important to ensure that tourism is sustainable and has the right investment so that it can be enjoyed in the future.

“Under these proposals, councils would have the discretion to raise the levy to ensure their communities and the tourism infrastructure is properly funded.

“Levies are a common feature in tourist destinations internationally and the forthcoming consultation is an important opportunity for residents and businesses to have their say on the way forward.”

The consultation seeks views on who should pay a levy, who would be charging and collecting the levy, how the levy could be best applied and how revenues from the tax could be allocated.

Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said: “While Wales may be the first place in the UK to introduce such a levy, we do not believe it will be the last – as we have seen recently, a visitor levy may soon be introduced in Edinburgh so Wales is not alone.

“We want to continue to see a thriving tourism industry in Wales. It is vital we have sustainable, responsible tourism that works both for visitors and for the communities they are visiting.

“Should local authorities decide to implement a visitor levy, it could make a real difference in communities across Wales to help develop and protect local services and infrastructure. We welcome all views in understanding what would work well for Wales and encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation.”

You can take part in the consultation via https://gov.wales/visitor-levy