Debate over Edinburgh tourist tax rages on

Picture: Ian Georgeson
Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Industry experts and the city council remain at logger heads over a tax that could help the cash-strapped Capital the right to levy a fee on tourists.

Recent comments by Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop was hailed by the British Hospitality Association as ruling out the idea of a tourist tax.

Ms Hyslop told the BHA the Scottish Government had “no plans” for such a levy and was not willing to consider it unless the hospitality industry was involved from the outset and their long-term interests were fully recognised in any 
work.

But sources at the city council claimed Ms Hyslop appeared to leave the door open to future discussions.

The tax could raise up to £15 million a year which supporters say could raise a substantial amount of money to finance services which tourists benefited from, including good roads, public toilets and clean streets.

The idea has been overwhelmingly opposed by the local tourism industry including the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

newsen@edinburghnews.com