Tourism

Highland Council consultation on tourist tax ‘astonishing’, says UKHospitality

UKHospitality has reacted with “astonishment” at Highland Council’s consultation on a tourist tax and called on it to avoid any measures that would “threaten” Scotland’s hospitality sector.

UKHospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod said the Highland Council is “using public money” to consult on a tourist tax, just before the Scottish Government is to launch a national consultation on the same issue.

Macleod said: “The council’s interest in squeezing businesses, at a time when costs are continually rising, is very disappointing. Margins for employers are already shrinking and we are facing a level of political uncertainty that is near-unprecedented.

“To even consider heaping more and more costs on businesses that are vital to the economic success of the Highlands at this time is ridiculous. Scotland’s hospitality businesses.”

He added: “The timing of the consultation is also dubious. Schools have now returned following the summer break so the views of Scottish families who holiday in the Highlands, and who will bear the cost of any tourist tax on future holidays, may not be heard. We hope the council reconsiders its approach and avoids pursuing any measures that would threaten Scotland’s hospitality businesses.”

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