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Article published 09/09/2019

Consultation on local levy launched

The Scottish Government has opened a consultation to develop its understanding of the issues and concerns important in the development of legislation to deliver a transient visitor levy. 

Members of the public, businesses and the tourism sector are being asked for their views on the design of a levy which would let local authorities, who deem it appropriate for their local circumstances, charge visitors a fee for staying overnight in their area.

The money generated by local authorities who decide to introduce a transient visitor levy would be retained by them for reinvesting back into tourism-related activities in that community.

The Scottish Government is committed to devolving more power to local authorities as well as taking steps to safeguard the future of Scotland’s vibrant tourism industry.

That is why we are looking for views from members of the public as well as industry on the principles of a transient visitor levy - often called a tourist tax.

This will not be a national tax and it will be for individual local authorities to decide whether or not to apply an overnight fee if they consider it appropriate for the local community. Money raised by those local authorities who introduce a levy will be retained by them to invest in local tourism activity, helping to safeguard the sustainability of the industry.

I hope that as many people as possible respond to this consultation to ensure that the legislation strengthens local decision making and enhances tourism across Scotland.

Kate Forbes, Public Finance Minister

The consultation

This consultation seeks to develop government understanding of the issues and concerns with regard to the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy and help inform the development of legislation to enable local authorities to apply a visitor levy. 

In particular, the consultation seeks views to ensure that the legislation:

  • supports the continuing success of the tourism industry in Scotland;
  • provides the powers that are needed for local authorities to respond to local pressures;
  • minimises the administrative and compliance burdens for those affected.

The consultation is open until 2 December 2019.

Take part now.