An amended proposal from the Green Group of Councillors agreeing the concept of a visitor levy in principle was passed by Edinburgh Council’s Policy & Strategy committee today. The committee also agreed to call for a report on the legal position for the introduction of such a levy and on the potential for either a voluntary or statutory levy to be introduced.
“I’m pleased that there was almost complete cross party support to move forward on the introduction of a visitor levy. The idea has been suggested now for many years without any formal steps to bring it forward.
“A small levy of a pound or two on a bed night, less than the price of a cup of coffee, could help the council to continue to provide cultural attractions and services that benefit both visitors and residents. There’s no evidence to suggest it would harm tourist numbers, many other successful tourist destinations around the world successfully operate such a levy.
“It’s been suggested that a visitor levy may require legislation by the Scottish Parliament. If that’s the case I’d certainly hope the Scottish Government wouldn’t stand in the way of any council wishing to explore a visitor levy on its own patch.”