A sustainable transport charity has found ’strong support’ for the introduction of a tourism tax in Edinburgh.
A Transform Scotland survey, The Tourist Duty, found 78% of respondents believe a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) would protect Edinburgh and manage tourism around the country.
Part of the survey targeting Edinburgh residents specifically found 69% of them are frequently impacted by tourism and 87% think more can be done to manage its impact.
The City of Edinburgh Council earlier this year agreed it would impose a £2 per night room charge fee if allowed.
The findings have been released today (2 December) to coincide with the end of the Scottish Government’s public consultation on TVLs.
“The volume of tourism is having severe impacts on Scotland’s transport system. During Edinburgh’s festivals, our bus network now routinely grinds to a halt. So it’s clear that something needs to be done to tackle the impacts of tourism in Scotland,” said Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland.
He said revenue from a TVL should be invested in public transport and into city centres.
The report’s author, Poppy Marples, urged the Scottish government to allow local authorities to bring in TVL schemes.
She added: “We are not persuaded by the hostility from the hospitality industry towards TVL proposals.
“We have seen no evidence that a TVL scheme in Edinburgh at a rate of £2 would impact on visitor numbers, and nor would we expect a charge less than the price of a coffee to have any impact on demand.”
Marples cited 19 European destinations with TVL schemes, such as Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Florence and Geneva.