Letter: Pete Irvine is right to back a city hotel tax

Pete Irvine. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
Pete Irvine. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor
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IT is good to see Pete Irvine, the driving force behind many a Hogmanay celebration in Edinburgh, come out so forcefully against the SNP’s proposed cut in air passenger duty, and equally in favour of a hotel tax on visitors in tourist hotspots.

He has said that it is already incredibly cheap to come here and tourism does not need further boosters of this sort.

A cut in the air passenger duty would have to be paid for by us, the Scottish taxpayers, and local budgets and local services would be hit again, seeing local councils take the flack for the SNP’s budget decisions.

Pete Irvine says that a hotel tax would be far more beneficial, both culturally and economically. In Edinburgh, Labour, in the forthcoming council elections, are proposing a hotel bed levy to provide skills training for local residents in the hospitality and tourist businesses, and help fund the Festivals, which generate £313 million for Scotland and £280 million for Edinburgh.

Hotels ratchet up their prices considerably during the Edinburgh Festival and at Hogmanay, so a hotel bed levy would be a good way of allowing councils to boost the revenue available to plough back into tourism and local communities.

Anne Wimberley, Juniper Green, Edinburgh