Now isn’t the time for a ‘tourist tax’, former Plaid Cymru leader argues
Now isn’t the time for a “tourist tax”, according to a former Plaid Cymru leader.
Dafydd Wigley, who sits in the House of Lords, has argued that it is “unfortunate” that the First Minister Mark Drakeford is considering the levy when “tourism businesses are reeling from the Covid lockdown”.
He suggested that one shouldn’t be levied until “the sector has regained financial stability”, and when it is, the money should be “directed to help the tourist infrastructure”.
This would include “training local workers with the necessary people skills”.
In a column for The National, Wigley wrote: “As Caernarfon MP, I worked closely with Wales’ tourist industry, serving on a select committee inquiry into tourism in Wales.
“My minority report, drawing heavily on Lord Young’s analysis, was far too radical for the Thatcher government.
“But these issues are again centre stage and two immediate steps are essential.
“Firstly, with holiday homes in rural Wales – radical action is needed immediately to prevent rural communities being obliterated.
“Secondly, Mark Drakeford is apparently considering a tourist tax. It’s unfortunate this arises when tourism businesses are reeling from the Covid lockdown. No such tax should be levied until the sector has regained financial stability.”
He added: “Thereafter, tax revenue should be directed to help the tourist infrastructure – not least training local workers with the necessary people skills.
“In parallel, there should be concerted action to rebalance the tourist season from high summer towards the spring and autumn ‘shoulder-periods’.
“This would give tourism-dependent businesses a stronger economic base and seasonal workers a higher, more balanced income.
“Tourism is here to stay; but it must carry local communities with it.”