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Wales considers tourist tax for holidaymakers

·2-min read
Wildflowers on the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Michael Roberts/Getty Images)
Wildflowers on the cliffs of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Michael Roberts/Getty Images)

Wales is considering a tourist tax on holidaymakers, with legislation enabling the move potentially being introduced in the next five years.

The First Minister, Mark Drakeford, included the proposal in his five-year plan for the country.

Drakeford recently unveiled the programme for government, which is comprised of 100 areas that he and his cabinet will take joint responsibility for.

The tourist tax proposition would allow local authorities to impose a levy on visitors. Such tourism levies are usually applied to guests when spending the night in a hotel, B&B or holiday let.

Mr Drakeford said of the idea: “A tourism tax, properly done, will benefit the industry because what it will allow those local authorities to do is to invest in the things that make those areas attractive to tourists in the first place.

“At the moment it is those local resident populations who pay for everything. They pay for the toilets, they pay for the car parks, they pay for the local museum, they pay for the local festival – anything that is put there to attract people into the area, it is those local residents who bear the cost in full.”

Other schemes included in the 17-page document are the creation of a national forest from north to south Wales; making some commonly-littered plastics illegal; and establishing the Football Museum, National Contemporary Art Gallery and Museum for north Wales.

The First Minister has also pledged to launch a pilot of Universal Basic Income, make 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas and ban pavement parking wherever possible, and work to a target for 30 per cent of people to work remotely.

In 2019, Edinburgh was the first city in the UK to announce it would be implementing a tourist tax, set at £2 a day.

However, the levy’s introduction has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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