Edinburgh councillors are reviving plans to introduce a “transient visitor levy”, an occupancy or bed tax, for hotel stays in the city. About two-thirds of EU member states impose bed taxes, which can vary from city to city even within those countries that do, such as Germany where some cities don’t charge at all.
The Federation of Small Businesses has described Edinburgh’s proposals as “potentially damaging” to tourism, coming on top of higher VAT and business rates than in other countries, but the council insists the levy is needed to counter pressure on local services at certain times of year.
The Scottish government will have the final say, but is believed not to favour tourist tax.
Visitors to Edinburgh spend almost £1.5bn a year, and support nearly 35,000 jobs.