Scottish Parliament seeks views on new Visitor Levy Bill
Holyrood has launched a public consultation on the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill, proposed legislation that would allow local authorities to impose an additional charge on overnight accommodations, such as hotels and bed & breakfasts.
These extra charges would be based on a percentage of the cost, with rates determined by individual councils.
Introduced in May, the bill aims to ensure that the Scottish tourism sector, which contributes over £4 billion annually to the national economy, supports local communities. Edinburgh City Council has signalled its intent to introduce such a levy, citing strong local backing and a belief that the additional fee would not deter tourists.
The public consultation, running from 26 June to 1 September, seeks to gather opinions from a wide range of stakeholders. This includes businesses, tourism organisations, community groups, and individuals across urban, rural, and island communities in Scotland.
Following the consultation period, the parliament’s Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee will review feedback, produce a report on its findings, and subsequently debate on the Bill’s progression in Holyrood.
Committee convener Ariane Burgess said: “Tourism is one of Scotland’s leading growth industries, contributing more than £4 billion to our economy each year, so ensuring these proposals work for those connected to the industry is essential.
“The bill provides a framework for local authorities to decide how money raised should be spent within local communities, how flexible they can be with where and when the levy would apply and whether certain exemptions should apply, all of which we want to gather detailed views on from urban, rural and island communities across Scotland.”