Tourist tax on UK destinations is unsupported by Express.co.uk readers, according to a new survey. Edinburgh could be the first UK city to introduce a visitor’s tax, with the city council estimating that £15million could be raised by adding a small charge to the accommodation bill for overnight visitors.
Edinburgh City Council has been campaigning for such a levy since 2018, but the Scottish government has said a “transitional tourist levy” will not be introduced until 2026.
READ MORE: Dorset residents demand tourist tax as beaches fill with rubbish
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last week: “We will be introducing a Local Visitors Tax Bill to give local authorities additional tax flexibility.
“This will help councils, if they wish, to fund activities related to tourism and related infrastructure.”
Edinburgh City Council previously suggested visitors were charged £2 per night, capped at £14 per visitor.
Council leader Cammy Day said the plans were a ‘historic step after years of working here in the capital to advocate for a visitor tax – something which is standard practice in other major cities and destinations of the world”.
He added: “We are very proud to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but we are also aware that this success comes at a cost.
“That’s why we think it’s fair to ask visitors to make a small contribution to help us maintain and improve our tourism offer while controlling its impact.”
In a poll that ran from Thursday August 25 at 3pm to Tuesday August 13 at noon, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should UK holiday destinations introduce a tourist tax?”
A total of 2,164 readers voted, with the overall answer being “no”, obtaining 56% (1,209 people) of the vote.
Meanwhile, 42% (916 people) voted ‘yes’, in favor of imposing a tourist tax at UK holiday destinations.
Another two percent (39 people) said they didn’t know anyway.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the introduction of tourist taxes.
Many readers were against charging tourists to visit UK holiday destinations.
One reader, username oak, said: ‘Resorts want everything, tourists’ money but not tourists.’
Username grimm said, “Seaside makes enough money for tourists. It’s just an exercise in making money.
The Change.org petition read: “Every year – especially after the Covid lockdown – the sandy beaches of BCP are increasingly trashed. This is done mainly by outside travelers who travel long hours from far away to spend a day or two on our best beaches.
“I call on the BCP Council to introduce a tourist tax for anyone who enters the BCP area and is not local or has any ties to the region (family, relatives, etc.). this would be in place during the summer season and some distance from the seafront.”
Yet local Conservative Councilor Beverley Dunlop claimed that maintaining the beach costs “local taxpayers nothing”.
However, other readers would appreciate a resort fee to help maintain vacation hotspots.
Username Opsman said: “Yes people don’t think twice abroad and pay the tax so why not here provided it was used to clean beaches, boardwalks, etc.”
While the username Maltyloofa read, “If people are going to leave trash everywhere, then I’m all for a cleanup tax.”