POLL – Would tourist tax put you off visiting the Scottish Highlands?

Wales tourist tax is ‘bad for the environment’ says Vine caller

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Visitors staying in the Scottish Highlands could be charged a tourist tax to help develop a more sustainable tourism industry. Highland Council believes the scheme could generate up to £10million for the region. But would the levy put you off visiting? Vote in our poll.

Highland Council has reiterated its support for a tourist tax after voting in favour of a visitor levy in December 2019. In a report to this week’s economy committee, Highland Council officers said they plan to work with the Scottish government in drawing up the Bill. This could go to Holyrood in the spring and then pass through Parliament in the next 12 to 14 months. The Council believes the scheme could be introduced as early as 2026.

Michael Golding, chief executive of destination management organisation Visit Inverness Loch Ness and a director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, has spoken out about the proposals and called for the details to be examined in context.

He said the tourism industry is “resilient” in its handling of challenges including Brexit and the pandemic, but warned that “it is still very much about survival and a path to a sustainable recovery”. He added: “In isolation, £5-10million of funds to invest in tourism in the Highlands seems like good news, however, it is not simple, and the full economic case and tax implications need to be carefully considered.”

Other holiday destinations including Paris, Venice, Madrid, Greece, Japan and New Zealand have successfully introduced tourism tax. Visitors are typically charged a small amount for each night they stay on top of their accommodation fee.

So how about YOU? Would tourist tax put you off visiting the Scottish Highlands? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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