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Trade Organisations

UKH urges Scottish govt to consider hotels in Visitor Levy bill decision

The trade body has taken issue with current plans that will leave hotels responsible for the cost of implementing and administering the new visitor levy charges

UKH Scotland has urged MPs to put the needs of accommodation businesses at the centre of the Visitor Levy bill, as the topic is debated in the Scottish parliament. 

According to the trade association, the Scottish government’s continued backing of an 18-month implementation period, despite conclusions from the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee (LGHPC) to reduce it, is “essential”. 

The trade body has taken issue with current plans that will leave “already-strapped” hotels responsible for the cost of implementing and administering the new visitor levy charges. 

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As a result, UKH has urged the Scottish government to address the issue of cost recovery for the association’s accommodation businesses. 

UKH Scotland has suggested a cap on any levy to be included in legislation, to avoid excessive charges, and has highlighted the need for funds raised to be invested back into the visitor economy. 

Leon Thompson, executive director for UKH 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.”

He added: “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.”

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