Summary of STA key asks to Scottish Government ahead of draft Budget 2017-18:
To accelerate and invest further in digital to ensure that Scotland has the network infrastructure required to attract and promote Scotland as a destination and a great place to invest, to increase our economic productivity and enable the tourism industry to be as competitive as it should be.
To introduce a system that flexes with the economic environment and allows regular revaluations of business premises to ensure the system better reflects these economic conditions.
To reverse the decision to double the rate of the Large Business Supplement.
To stand by its commitment to expand the Small Bonus Scheme to enable businesses currently outside the relief’s scope to benefit from financial support.
To implement the promised 50% cut in APD as soon as possible
Maintain its current position on a ‘bedroom tax’, which has been proposed by several of Scotland’s councils.
To commit to engage in direct discussion with the STA and our key stakeholders on the issue of a ‘tourism tax’, a key issue affecting the entire tourism sector in Scotland
To consider the impact that any increase in income tax will have on disposable incomes and the effect this would have on consumer spending
That the funding allocated to our national marketing agency has the weight that will allow VisitScotland to not only continue its substantial and successful efforts in marketing Scotland as a destination globally, but allow the organisation to have greater reach in its marketing activities at destination level.
Support from the Scottish Government to position tourism as a growth industry, one of job creation and opportunity, and demonstration of government commitment to driving skills development within the sector through the right balance of taxation and investment.