Should British destinations bring in a tourist tax? YOU VOTED

Wales tourist tax is 'bad for the environment' says Vine caller

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Tourist taxes on British destinations are not supported by readers, a new poll has found. Edinburgh could be the first UK city to introduce a tourist tax, with the City Council estimating that £15million could be raised by adding a small charge to the accommodation bill of overnight visitors.

Edinburgh City Council has campaigned for such a levy since 2018 but the Scottish Government said that a “transient tourist levy” would not be introduced before 2026.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last week: “We will introduce a Local Visitor Levy Bill to give local authorities additional fiscal flexibility.

“This will help councils, if they so choose, to fund activities related to tourism and related infrastructure”.

Edinburgh City Council previously suggested visitors were charged £2 per night, capped at £14 per visitor.

Council leader Cammy Day said it the plans were a “landmark step following years of work here in the Capital to make the case for a visitor levy – something that’s common practice in other major cities and destinations around the world”.

He added: “We’re very proud to be one of the world’s most popular visitor destinations, but we’re equally aware that this success comes at a cost.

“That’s why we believe it’s right to ask visitors to make a small contribution to help us sustain and improve our tourism offer while managing its impact.”

In a poll that ran from 3pm on Thursday, August 25, to midday on Tuesday, August 13, asked readers: “Should British holiday destinations bring in a tourist tax?”

In total, 2,164 readers cast their votes with the overall response being “no”, gaining 56 percent (1,209 people) of the vote.

Meanwhile, 42 percent (916 people) voted “yes”, in favour of a tourist tax being imposed in British holiday destinations.

A further two percent (39 people) said they did not know either way.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on introducing tourist taxes.

Many readers were against making tourists pay to visit holiday destinations in the UK.

One reader, username oak, said: “The holiday resorts want it all ways, the money from the tourists but no tourists.”

Username grimm said: “The seaside makes enough money from the tourists. This is just a money-grabbing exercise.”

Another, username The Old Sea Dog8 said: “Are taxes not already paid? The cost of fuel to get there. The cost of parking. The accommodation costs will be out of reach of many. The last thing the country needs is more taxes.”

And username edmundro said: “Pay to visit a town in your own country?? Jog on.”

Last month, a Dorset resident launched a petition to introduce a tourist tax for visitors to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

Maris Lake has called for a tourist tax as he believes visitors to the area are responsible for littering the local beaches.


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The petition read: “Every year – especially after the Covid lockdown – BCP’s sandy beaches are getting more and more trashed. This is done mostly by outside travellers who travel long hours from far away to spend a day or two on our most beautiful beaches.

“I am calling on BCP council to introduce a tourism tax to anyone who enters the BCP area and isn’t local nor has any connections to the area (family, relatives, etc). This would be in place during the summer season and at a certain distance from the seafront.”

Yet, local Conservative councillor Beverley Dunlop claimed that the maintenance of the beach comes at “no cost to local taxpayers”.

However, other readers would welcome a tourist tax to help maintain holiday hotspots.

Username Opsman said: “Yes, people don’t think twice when abroad and pay the tax so why not here, providing it was used to clean the beaches, promenades etc.”

While username Maltyloofa said: “If people are going to leave rubbish everywhere, then I’m all for a tax on clearing it up.”

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