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Tourist tax to be considered by Highland residents

Highlands Council said visitors could help contribute millions of pounds to the area.

Tax: Plans to be considered by residents and businesses.
Tax: Plans to be considered by residents and businesses. by Jim Roberts

A consultation has been launched on whether to introduce a tourist tax in the Highlands.

The local authority said there is logic behind visitors contributing towards the free public services and infrastructure they use.

On Thursday it launched a questionnaire which is directed at residents, businesses and visitors.

Council leader Margaret Davidson said: "Tourism is of huge importance to the Highlands.

"A Highland Transient Visitor Levy is one option the council is considering to raise income to manage the challenges tourism is both facing and contributing to in Highland."

She added: "The consultation has been shaped by lots of research and engagement with the public and tourism industry to ensure we are asking the right questions.

"It does not simply gather information on people's support or opposition, it gives respondents lots of opportunity to help us shape what a levy might look like were it to be implemented."

https://stv.tv/news/features/1416459-tourist-tax-will-edinburgh-plan-drive-away-visitors/ | default

The Highlands has an influx of visitors equal to 25 times its population each year.

This can create pressure on infrastructure and lead to services struggling.

Highland Council estimates a levy could bring in between £5m and £10m each year.

The consultation will run until autumn and research findings will be reported on December 12.

City of Edinburgh Council approved plans to introduce a tourist tax in February.

It will not come into effect until the Scottish Parliament has passed enabling legislation, which is unlikely to happen before next year.

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