Today’s announcement from the City of Edinburgh Council in response to the results of the recent tourism tax consultation is in our view ambiguous in its claims, specifically with reference to the ‘significant’ support from accommodation providers in Edinburgh.
Out of the 2560 responses to the consultation, just 17% were from all businesses types, both within and outside Edinburgh which is very low considering the importance of the tourism economy tourism to the majority of businesses within Edinburgh, and only 7% of these were from Edinburgh accommodation providers. 78% of respondents were from Edinburgh residents and just 3% were tourists.
Figures show that only 87 Edinburgh accommodation providers have indicated strong support for a Transient Visitor Levy within the consultation and it is unclear from the figures released by the City of Edinburgh Council what type of accommodation providers these are. This number represents less than 5% of all tourism businesses in Edinburgh (1785).
Out of the 435 total number of businesses that responded to the consultation, it is unclear what sectors or areas all of these businesses are in, for example, how many of the 162 ‘Other Edinburgh business including visitor attractions’ are actually visitor attractions, retail businesses or other business that directly benefit from tourism spend?
Greater transparency is required and we will be seeking clarity from Edinburgh City Council to better understand the results of the survey and pose questions that we and other member trade associations have as a result of today’s announcement.