Edinburgh is set to start charging tourists an additional levy – or tax – for visiting the city.
The move – which is set to be introduced by the Scottish government – will see overnight visitors to the city pay a small additional fee on top of their accommodation costs.
It has been estimated that such a charge could generate around £15m per year for Edinburgh Council to spend on its sustainable tourism offering.
The Scottish capital will be the first city in the UK to introduce such a fee.
“This is fantastic news for the city, and a landmark step following years of work here in the Capital to make the case for a visitor levy – something that’s common practice in other major cities and destinations across the world,” said Cammy Day, leader of Edinburgh Council.
“We’re very proud to be one of the world’s most popular visitor destinations, but we’re equally aware that this success comes at a cost. That’s why we believe it’s right to ask visitors to make a small contribution to help us sustain and improve our tourism offer while managing its impact.
“We’ve been building the case for Edinburgh to become the first city in the UK to introduce such a levy, consistently and repeatedly making the case to Scottish Ministers without success – until now. From our citywide consultation held in 2018, our proposals gained overwhelming backing from Edinburgh’s residents, businesses and attractions – and, importantly, also from the majority of accommodation providers.
“Ultimately the income this generates will help us continue to invest in and manage the success of tourism on our city, making sure we continue to offer one of the most enviable and enjoyable visitor experiences in the world – while bringing new and additional benefits to our residents who live and work here all year round,” Mr Day said.