Tourist tax a ‘danger’ to Edinburgh, says UKHospitality

Edinburgh is in danger of becoming the most expensive destination in Europe, according to evidence submitted today by UKHospitality (UKH), to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Transient Visitor Levy (TVL).

The group said the hospitality industry “remains opposed” to the tax and the introduction of a TVL will make the country “less competitive” and make the tourism market one of the highest taxed globally.

According to the World Economic Forum, the UK currently ranks 135th in terms of overall price-competitiveness. With the introduction of a TVL, Edinburgh will become the most expensive city to visit in Europe, well above the likes of Paris, London and Rome.

UKHospitality said it is estimated that the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL)  would to lead to a reduction in accommodation turnover on Scotland of £128m per annum and an overall negative impact of £191m per annum.

Willie MacLeod, executive director of Scotland for UK Hospitality, said: “A TVL could be a disaster for the tourism industry in Edinburgh and across Scotland.

“The introduction of a £2 per room, per night tax will cost the economy between £175m – £200m per annum. At this a time of great economic and political uncertainty, much needed jobs, tax revenues and investment will be put at risk.”

He added: “Our members, who represent the majority of people in the hospitality and accommodation sector, remain opposed to the introduction of any additional tax on visitors. Instead, the Scottish Government and local authorities should continue to work with the industry, to expand the sector and secure further jobs and investment.”

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