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Nearly 70% of Edinburgh businesses support ‘tourist tax’

A recent survey by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce found that 69% of businesses would support the introduction of a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) in Edinburgh.

The survey yielded views from 200 businesses and organisations from across the city, from a range of industries including hospitality, financial services, creative industries and transport.

The research found that:

  • 79% would support a TVL if the funds were ring-fenced for infrastructure investment in Edinburgh.
  • Support varied between industries, from 50% in the hospitality sector to 81% of financial services companies and 93% of third sector organisations.
  • The form of levy most favoured was a ‘per person, per night’ charge – as used in many European countries including Spain, Austria, Croatia, France and Bulgaria.
  • The vast majority of respondents – 87% – would like the option to review the TVL after a set period of time.

Edinburgh attracts more than four million visitors each year, who contribute over £1.4bn to the local economy. This number is set to grow year-on-year, and is estimated to generate an additional £485m for the city by 2020.  

However, with the increasing volume in visitors, there comes a greater requirement for the city to invest in public services and infrastructure. The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said the idea of a TVL in Edinburgh has been debated at a local and national level for over a decade.

In 2017, the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to continue to make a case to the Scottish government for the introduction of a TVL, and earlier this year the Scottish government announced a national consultation on the matter.

Liz McAreavey, CEO of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “The potential introduction of a TVL in Edinburgh is one of the most significant issues being discussed in our city and it is only right that business has its say. After an extensive consultation with our members, we have found broad support for the principle of a levy, which increases further if funds were dedicated to improving the city’s infrastructure.

“We look forward to seeing the City of Edinburgh Council’s proposals for the use of funds raised by a TVL and we remain committed to improving the environment for the businesses

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