Wrexham council leader doesn’t want ‘tourism tax’ in city
Rory Sheehan, Local Democracy Reporter
The leader of Wrexham Council says he does not want to see a tourism tax introduced in the city.
The Welsh Government is currently consulting on proposals to give local authorities the powers to introduce a visitor tax.
This levy would be a small charge paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.
If the proposal proves popular, each local authority in Wales would have the power to decide if they want to introduce the levy, and money raised would be re-invested in local areas to support local tourism.
Investment could range from keeping the beaches and pavements clean, to maintaining local parks, toilets and footpaths.
Even if introduced, there would still be a number of years before the levy could actually be implemented.
But speaking at a Wrexham Council media briefing, leader Cllr Mark Pritchard (Ind) says he is firmly against the idea and would not want to see a visitor levy introduced in the city.
He said: “I don’t support it. My position is very clear.
“It’s out now for consultation. Businesses across Wales don’t support it and I think it would be foolish especially in these extremely difficult times.
“I think what the Welsh Government should do is look at this and use it the other way – that we are a country that doesn’t charge a tourism tax and promote that. I think you’d get more of a benefit from it.”
Explaining his reasons for being against the idea, Cllr Pritchard said that local authorities in Wales already ‘do well’ from tourism and that introducing additional costs for visitors would be ‘foolish’.
He added: “I think what you’ve got to understand here with regards to tourism is that it brings in millions of pounds into this country and I think lots of authorities do rather well out of it on their car park charging, their increase in business, footfall and everything else.
“In my opinion it’s foolish. As leader of the council I wouldn’t support bringing one in within Wrexham.
“There will be lots of discussion on this subject and I would hope that the Welsh Government think long and hard on this before they take it forward. I believe it would be damaging to Wales as a country – that’s my opinion.”
Tourism tax opposition
The leader of the Welsh Conservative has said that a tourism tax in Wales would turn the country into a land of “betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds”.
The leader of Conwy Council recently said that a tourism tax couldn’t be “justified” during the cost of living crisis.
The leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council recently said that there are no plans to introduce a tourism tax in the county.
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I really like Wrexham, but who the hell would want to visit the place as a tourists unless its for football? Plus in general, football fans don’t mind paying tourism tax because you have to do it in other countries and cities around Europe. It does not stop you from going to places, its always an insignificant amount that makes minimal difference to your budget.
Exactly, which suggests that Mr Pritchard hasn’t visited a number of the EU and other countries that levy some kind of tourism tax. Or has he always travelled at the public’s expense?
Mr Pritchard is catering to the Tory and unionist fraternity of Wrexham.
A cohort undeniably bereft of brain cells. What do they tell themselves when they look to Chester in all its affluence, 15 minutes away in England?
I would hope that while telling people they should not have a tourist tax, he would also remind them there are no facts to back up his opposition, and money generated would have been re invested into sustaining local tourism.
I don’t know how Wrexham council is constructed but, where I come from there are no Tories, they stand as independents otherwise they would never get elected.
Oh, they are definitely Tories alright!
I really and honestly cannot understand the logic behind this type of thought? Do these people not travel? Or do they just think, on principal, that Wales exists just to offer people cheap and cheerful holidays – regardless of the consequences.
Why should Wales be different to loads of other countries charging tourist tax? Every penny counts.
Of course he doesn’t, he is a Conservative (sorry, “independent”) Councillor.
But people ought to bear in mind that the services that tourists access for free will still need to be paid for.
And tax rises and inflation on top of those services will also need to be paid for.
He isn’t happy to charge tourists a few extra quid to access them, but he is happy for local people to bear the full brunt of paying for them in the middle of a cost of living crisis!
Vienna charged me a tourist tax and I was happy to pay. Maybe because I come as a humble visitor, respectful and in awe of the local culture and not some piece of supremacist, planter pondscum seeking to slake my fragile ego with a holiday property but moaning when asked to cough up my dues. These people remind me of sad little men who buy a sports car to show off but moan about how much it costs to fill the tank.