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Next step in developing tourism tax announced as part of Labour-Plaid cooperation agreement

10 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Mark Drakeford and Adam Price sign the cooperation agreement. Picture by the Welsh Government

Next step in the development of a tourism tax has been announced as part of the Labour-Plaid cooperation agreement.

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have confirmed a consultation on proposals for a local visitor levy will launch in autumn 2022.

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said a levy would enable destinations in Wales to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member Cefin Campbell MS said that the “measure will help support a sustainable rather than an extractive tourism sector”.

Tourism provides a substantial economic contribution to Wales with tourism-related expenditure reaching more than £5bn annually in 2019.

A tourism tax would raise revenue for local authorities enabling them to manage services and infrastructure which makes tourism a success, according to Labour and Plaid.

The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, and the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, both contain commitments to introduce levies.

Formal consultation on draft legislative proposals for a visitor levy will launch in the autumn, providing a platform for a range of views to be considered.

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “Visitor levies are a common feature in tourist destinations internationally. They are an opportunity for visitors to make an investment in local infrastructure and services, which in turn make tourism a success.

“Without such a levy, local communities face an undue burden to fund local services and provisions on which tourists rely. From keeping the beaches and pavements clean, through to maintaining local parks, toilets and footpaths – the critical infrastructure that supports tourism should be supported by all those that rely on it.

“The introduction and subsequent use of such a levy would enable destinations in Wales to be enjoyed for generations to come and encourage a more sustainable approach to tourism.

‘Proportionate’ 

She added: “The levy would be proportionate by design, and powers to raise the levy would be discretionary for local authorities. This would enable decisions to be taken locally, according to the needs of our communities.

“The levy will apply to those paying to stay overnight within a local authority area. Opportunities for wider contributions on the cost impact of other types of visitor activities on local infrastructure will be offered as part of the consultation on the levy.”

Designated Member Cefin Campbell MS said: “Giving local people the power to introduce a tourism levy will make a difference to communities across the country, many of which attract a significant number of tourists. It will give local people and their representatives more power and resources to invest and deliver in their areas.

“Councils will be able to ask tourists to contribute in a small way to the areas they are visiting and the local services they use.

“This measure will help support a sustainable rather than an extractive tourism sector, which will help bring the greatest benefit to communities and the local economy.

“Such levies – often known as tourism taxes – are commonplace in countries across Europe and beyond. This is about mutual respect between our communities and the visitors they welcome. It is a new policy which is the fruit of a Welsh co-operative spirit.”


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Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago

Cue the howls of outrage from the Tories

BigPooba
BigPooba
7 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Straight in with a tories comment. The big brains are out already!

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
7 months ago

A good idea in principle, as long as it is not too much, it could generate significant revenue. Rome has been charging tourists 2 Euros a night for some time now. That seems a fair amount.

Grayham Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

It’s got to be 100 percent taxes on second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
7 months ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

It was 6 euros a night when I was last there, for the rugby a few years ago.
This tax certainly did not deter a lot of us from going to Rome.

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

All second homes in wales must pay 100 percent taxes on second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Bachgen o Llanystyndwy
Bachgen o Llanystyndwy
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Why would anyone want to buy a second home in Wales France is fantastic country with brilliant facilities and restaurants. I cannot understand why anyone would.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
7 months ago

Thanks to Brexit, it’s probably far easier to buy in Wales than in France.

Daibread
Daibread
7 months ago

Wales is out of step with the rest of the world by NOT taxing visitors. It will be critical that the National Park Authorities receive a significant proportion of revenue generated in order to adequately address the costs of visitor management.

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