First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has ordered a consultation into allowing councils to set a local ‘tourist tax’.
The decision was announced at the Scottish Tourism Alliance conference, after some Scottish councils, led by Edinburgh, called for powers to set levies on tourist accommodation.
While reiterating that there are currently “no plans to introduce a tourism tax”, she said the government would accept the STA’s call for an “objective process of consultation” and that this would “examine in detail the arguments for and against a tourism tax”, adding that ministers were “determined that all voices will be heard”.
Earlier this year the Scottish government said that it had “no plans to introduce a visitor levy on the tourism sector, which is already subject to the second highest VAT rates in Europe”.
But the First Minister told MSPs at Holyrood last week that ministers would “consider the matter and listen to all the arguments before we come to a decision”.