Almost 70 per cent of Edinburgh businesses in favour of tourist tax

Written by Jenni Davidson on 22 November 2018 in News

A survey by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has found a majority of businesses in the capital support TVL

Edinburgh skyline - Image credit: Andrei-Daniel Nicolae/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Almost 70 per cent of businesses in Edinburgh would support the introduction of a tourist tax, a survey by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce has found.

The survey found that 69 per cent of businesses in the capital are in favour a transient visitor levy (TVL) or tourist tax overall, while support jumps to 79 per cent if the money was ringfenced for infrastructure investment.

Support varied by industry, with 93 per cent of third sector organisations supporting it and 81 per cent of financial services company, but only 50 per cent in the hospitality industry.

The preferred form was a per person per night charge, with 87 per cent wanting the option to review the tax after a period of time.

Liz McAreavey, CEO of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “The potential introduction of a transient visitor levy in Edinburgh is one of the most significant issues being discussed in our city and it is only right that business has its say.

“After an extensive consultation with our members, we have found broad support for the principle of a levy, which increases further if funds were dedicated to improving the city’s infrastructure.

“We look forward to seeing the City of Edinburgh Council’s proposals for the use of funds raised by a TVL and we remain committed to improving the environment for the businesses that serve as the backbone of our local economy.

“We will be submitting to the Scottish Government’s consultation, articulating our own position, and that of Edinburgh’s business community, in due course.”

The City of Edinburgh Council is currently consulting on introducing a tourist tax, although it will need permission from the Scottish Government to introduce one.

Council leader Adam McVey welcomed the business backing for the introduction of a tourist tax and said it was “encouraging” to see half of businesses in the hospitality sector “recognising the need to create a long-term investment to support the continuing success of the city”.

He added: “These findings give yet more weight to our current plans and consultation, which is giving everyone the chance to have their say.

“With an increasing volume of visitors to the city, which brings substantial benefits not least economic growth, there also comes a greater requirement for the city to invest in managing the impacts of that success for businesses, visitors and residents.

“We’re determined to co-produce a scheme that works best for the whole city, including our local hospitality industry, in order to create a TVL proposal which is fair, simple and workable.”

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