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Renewed concerns about Welsh tourism tax as staycation boom ends, says industry body

23 May 2022 3 minutes Read
Tourism on Snowdon. Picture by Hefin Owen (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A tourism industry body has said that there are renewed concerns about a tourism tax among visitor attractions as the staycation boom seen in Wales during the pandemic begins to dissipate.

The Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions said that 46.9% of members they surveyed had seen fewer visitors over the 2022 Easter period when compared with 2019, the last time all attractions were open over Easter.

Those suggested that those who had stayed in Wales during the pandemic were now back jetting off on foreign trips. They also suggested that potential tourists may be feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis.

Ashford Price, Secretary of WAVA and the owner of Dan yr Ogof Cavs, said that members were concerned that the Welsh Government were pursuing “anti-tourism policies” such as a proposed tourism tax and plans to make it harder for holiday let properties to be eligible for business rates instead of council tax.

“All attractions are facing increased running costs, especially for items like electricity, staffing costs and rising food prices,” he said.

“Many members are finding it difficult to pass on these extra costs knowing that families are struggling themselves with cost-of-living issues, therefore days out with the family must continue to be affordable.

“The overall picture indicated by some attractions is that the weekly footfall is down, and though the weekends are holding up these numbers are not covering the fewer visitors seen in the week.”

‘On hold’

From April next year, local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

The Welsh Government are also currently consulting on the possibility of a tourism tax, as is common in many tourist hotspots in Europe.

WAVA asked their members if they would be re-investing in their attraction or be adding a new attraction for 2023 in the light of the recent Welsh Government’s tourism policies. 40% responded that they had no plans for re-investing or adding to their attraction for 2023.

43.8% of those responding to the survey also indicated that further investment in their attraction would also be put “on hold” if a tourism tax was introduced. 18.8% of Welsh attractions would also consider projects outside of Wales if it happened, they said.


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Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
1 month ago

Are the ‘tourism industry experts’ twp beyond twp? All those lost tourists have headed for sunnier climes , islas, costas and vistas who all impose a tourist tax on English holidaymakers

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Hear! Hear!

Popsie
1 month ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Ashford Price has been running Dan yr Ogof since the 60s. What tourist business do you run?

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

We’re giving more airtime to avowed Tory Ashford price are we? He’s not a tourism expert. He runs one attraction. He has ulterior motives

Popsie
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

There is nothing ulterior about making you living from tourism. What is your expertise in tourism business.

Stephen
Stephen
1 month ago

Same old…the Welsh Government had to ruin things for local business. It’s an absolute disgrace, I know loads of people who didn’t want to holiday here because of this dreadful tax.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen

ER…what dreadful tax?

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen

I suspect you don’t. I suspect you have made them up to bolster your criticism of Y Senedd. And if they don’t want to come here because of an additional fiver on their stay, well how much would they have contributed to the economy anyway? There is a minimum break-even spend required per tourist to make it worthwhile for the attraction to operate. It sounds like your fictional army of penny pinching “stay-aways” would be more likely to COST attractions money

Kurt C
Kurt C
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen

We believe you, not. If you don’t like tourist taxes that exist across the globe. Stay home. Tourist tax would benefit the tourist. Money needs spending all yr and not just when tourists are here. Tourism creates ghost town for parts of the yr.

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago

I really enjoy the negative view of the various tourist organisations.
To quote the late Mandy Rice-Davies – he would say that, wouldn’t he?

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

And all those folk now oversees on hols – what are they getting ?

City Tax or Tourism Tax 👍🏼

Where are the complaint letters in the press ?
Where are the complaints in the host areas ?

Answer – they don’t exist.

A bit like the Ukraine 🇺🇦 Nazi slur – a figment of those who have no case

Last edited 1 month ago by Richard
Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

More tripe being spouted again, just as the regional Gov of Valencia announced last week, an increase In tourism tax to include an extra €2 a night for 4 and 5 star hotels in Benidodm, and €1 for camping. This does not seem to effect numbers leaving for Benidorm, is it just Cymru that will suffer? If the tax is so damaging, can these people explain the increase in numbers going toSpain.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Yes. We are unique in the world for various reasons We are too small to go it alone in the world despite the other 80 or so nations in the world smaller than us that do the same We are unable to govern ourselves despite having the most successful and popular government in these islands We are unable to support ourselves despite having a nation rich in resources, with internationally respected Universities and world leading industries in many traditional and modern fields Asking an extra £2 a day from visitors, in order to give them a better experience would make… Read more »

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

The poll carried out by wava doesn’t make a lot of sense, are these people just going to stop investing in their business and run them into the ground, not very sound business practice if you ask me.

Popsie
1 month ago

Don’t worry, Mark Drakeford will run them into the ground.

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