• STV
  • MySTV

MSPs warned over 'discriminatory' tourist tax plans

The head of a hospitality body has warned that tourism could be hit by the planned levy.

TAX: Plans could raise £11m a year for Edinburgh
TAX: Plans could raise £11m a year for Edinburgh STV

The head of a hospitality industry body in Scotland has warned MSPs that a tourist tax would be "discriminatory".

William Macleod, Scotland executive director for trade organisation UK Hospitality, said it opposes the tax.

He said research indicates proposed levy of £2 per room, per night as being proposed by Edinburgh City Council to raise an estimated £11m annually, could result in a £175 million economic hit if applied nationwide.

Giving evidence to Holyrood's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, Mr Macleod said: "You have staying visitors, you have day visitors, you have people staying with friends and relatives.

"Everybody makes a demand on local services but introducing a transient visitor levy, or a tourist tax, is putting a discriminatory tax on anyone who uses commercial accommodation.

"Where is the rest of the contribution coming from, from those who are not enabling businesses to meet their contribution of cost and contribution to local services? "

He was joined by all members of the panel before the committee in welcoming a consultation on a tourist tax, but he said in-depth analysis is needed.

'The world's a small place and Scotland is a very small place and we need to be competitive.'
Marc Crothall, Scottish Tourism Alliance

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, echoed this view and warned that introducing the tax could push squeezed tourism businesses "over the cliff".

He said: "The world's a small place and Scotland is a very small place and we need to be competitive."

But Peter Irvine, director of Unique Events which ran Edinburgh's official Hogmanay celebrations for more than two decades, argued the city is an "exceptional case".

He said when running the Hogmanay event he would wish accommodation providers would contribute to costs, saying the hotels went from being "empty" to having the highest rates over new year than any other European city.

"I would suggest Edinburgh should seriously look at it. The revenues of it... should improve not just the visitor experience but what it's like to live with an influx of tourists," he said.

"Tourism is not a tap that's going to go off or be turned down. It's going to increase."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.