Tourism bodies request closure of City of Edinburgh’s Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) consultation on basis that it is ‘not fit for purpose’
The representative body for Scotland’s tourism industry, the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) and hospitality trade body, UK Hospitality have called for the City of Edinburgh Council’s consultation into a Transient Visitor Levy to be closed at the earliest opportunity.
In a letter sent to Council Leader, Adam McVey and Chief Executive, Andrew
Kerr on 8th November, the organisations expressed their significant concerns about the biased nature of the consultation on the City for Edinburgh Council proposal for a Transient Visitor Levy/Tourist Tax (TVL) within the city.
The tourism bodies argue that the consultation document as it currently stands presents no opportunity for opponents of a TVL to register their opposition, fundamentally undermining the consultation, which currently has little or no support from within the City’s broader tourism industry.
The letter also raises the point that the consultation neglects to seek alternative views about how revenue could otherwise be raised and that the consultation fails to inform respondents of the contributions of millions of pounds by the tourism and hospitality sectors to the council finances through business rates and employment.
The organisations state that no effort has been made by Edinburgh Council to explain the impact of the UK VAT regime to respondents, which drives UK hotel day rates to a significantly higher level than Scotland’s international comparators, and that the consultation wrongly seeks views on whether TVL money should be spent on what many would argue are core Council services, such as emptying bins.
A request has been made by the organisations that the consultation ceases as soon as possible, particularly in light of the Scottish Government’s own proposals to consult with local authorities and industry as to whether a TVL approach should be considered at all.