Highland Council’s decision to move forward with a tourist tax will damage the region, UKHospitality has said. Executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod (pictured centre) said the taxes would “only undermine Scotland’s and the Highlands’ tourism offer and pile more costs on businesses”.
He said, “A tourist tax will increase costs for customers and reduce choice. It will only undermine investment and put jobs at risk. It isn’t valid to point to European countries as a justification for the tax as those countries have significantly lower rates of VAT. The survey carried out by Highland Council was one-sided, opaque and gives no breakdown of who would be responsible for a tax.
“It contains no mechanism for targeting day-trippers to the Highlands and would only damage business confidence. It is pointless for any local authority in Scotland to push forward with measures to introduce a tourist tax until we’ve had clarity from the Scottish government.”