Comment: Rejection of bed tax is a chance lost

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IT is frustrating that the idea of a “bed tax” on tourists has been ruled out for the second time.

The Evening News has supported the idea in the past and we still believe it has merit.

A nominal charge of around £1 or £2 which could have been used to fund £10 million of investment in the city’s tourism factor seemed like a sensible one.

The problem with the most ­recent scheme which has been dismissed was making it voluntary.

A compulsory charge would have been easier to administer and would surely have worked well, while a voluntary charge would have been unreliable and unfair.

There may have been concerns among some about the potential for putting visitors off, but would anyone really cancel a holiday costing hundreds of pounds for the sake of a few quid? We are also sure that the vast majority of visitors would be happy with the charge after enjoying their stay in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

And why not when similar schemes are commonplace in other countries?

This latest decision seems like a missed opportunity to generate huge investment in an industry which is so important to the economy of the Capital.

Attention is now turning to the suggestion of a Tourism Business Improvement District which will charge businesses a straight levy instead.

This seems like a far more difficult sell.

Graffiti good idea

Some of the project’s critics may say that a bit of graffiti could only improve the look of the new Caltongate development.

Whether you are a fan of the architecture or not however, the idea of brightening up the area in a legal fashion while the building work is under way sounds like a great one. As long as it stops once the hoardings finally come down that is.