Targeted strategy needed for visitor levy funds

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson

UKHOSPITALITY Scotland has said ringfenced funds must be spent effectively to ‘protect and enhance’ Scotland’s reputation as a leading tourist destination.

UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director Leon Thompson said: “The introduction of the visitor levy will leave hospitality businesses frustrated that yet another cost is being lumped onto a sector already challenged by record costs.

“Scotland is rightly regarded as one of the world’s leading tourist destinations but with a visitor levy and a significantly higher rate of VAT than the rest of Europe, there is a real danger that we become uncompetitive compared to our neighbours.

“Whilst disappointing that the Scottish Government is going ahead with legislation to give local authorities the power to introduce a levy, it is positive that it has signalled that revenue raised should be spent to boost destinations and enhance the visitor experience.

“The creation of an expert group to develop guidance on how the levy should work in practice is also a welcome development. A key consideration must be the development of a targeted strategy on how these funds can be spent effectively to protect and enhance Scotland’s reputation on the world stage.”

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