Tourism Committee agrees to write to UK and Scottish Governments

Members of The Highland Council’s Tourism Committee have agreed that the Council will write to the Scottish Government to ask for an update on the government’s future position on Transient Visitor Levy.

Councillors were informed that the Transient Visitor Levy Bill that was about to be introduced in Easter 2020 was paused by the Scottish Government and since then the Programme for Government has been published and the Transient Visitor Levy has not been included in the current programme for government, while there is only 6 months left of this government’s term of office.

Committee Chair Cllr. Maxine Smith said: “We are fully aware of the pressures that all tourism and hospitality businesses are currently under due to the coronavirus pandemic - so what we are asking the Scottish Government for is to clarify their long-term future position in years to come for the Transient Visitor Levy.

"I stress, we are forward thinking - we are not asking for this to be introduced now or anywhere in the near future - but if we want to be able to invest in tourism infrastructure in many years to come we need to have a means to do this going forward. 

"If tourism wants to continue with its expansion post-covid, at some point in the future years there needs to be a direct income to allow us to invest massively, whether this is from a tourist tax or a direct fund from either government.”

The Tourism Committee also agreed that the Chair writes to the UK Government to ask for a permanent reduction in VAT that would benefit the tourism and hospitality sector now and for the next few years.

14 Oct 2020
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