Wales to impose tourism tax on visitors staying overnight

 Friday, February 11, 2022

Visitors hoping to staying overnight in Wales could face a tourism tax.


The Welsh Government confirmed a consultation in a tourism tax will be launched this autumn.


The fee would have to be paid by those staying in a council area overnight and would be up to councils to set.
The Welsh Government says a tourism tax would raise money for councils to manage services and infrastructure in tourist hotspots.


It is part of Welsh Government policy, agreed through their co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru. Some details had already been detailed by First Minister Mark Drakeford.


Finance and local government minister Rebecca Evans said: “Visitor levies are a common feature in tourist destinations internationally. They are an opportunity for visitors to make an investment in local infrastructure and services, which in turn make tourism a success.


“Without such a levy, local communities face an undue burden to fund local services and provisions on which tourists rely. From keeping the beaches and pavements clean, through to maintaining local parks, toilets and footpaths – the critical infrastructure that supports tourism should be supported by all those that rely on it.


“The introduction and subsequent use of such a levy would enable destinations in Wales to be enjoyed for generations to come and encourage a more sustainable approach to tourism.


“The levy would be proportionate by design, and powers to raise the levy would be discretionary for local authorities. This would enable decisions to be taken locally, according to the needs of our communities.


“The levy will apply to those paying to stay overnight within a local authority area. Opportunities for wider contributions on the cost impact of other types of visitor activities on local infrastructure will be offered as part of the consultation on the levy.”


Plaid Cymru’s designated member Cefin Campbell MS said: “Giving local people the power to introduce a tourism levy will make a difference to communities across the country, many of which attract a significant number of tourists.


“It will give local people and their representatives more power and resources to invest and deliver in their areas.


“Councils will be able to ask tourists to contribute in a small way to the areas they are visiting and the local services they use.


“This measure will help support a sustainable rather than an extractive tourism sector, which will help bring the greatest benefit to communities and the local economy.


“Such levies – often known as tourism taxes – are commonplace in countries across Europe and beyond. This is about mutual respect between our communities and the visitors they welcome. It is a new policy which is the fruit of a Welsh co-operative spirit.”

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