Tourism and Short-Term Lets
Read more: Briefing PforGovt 6.9.22 – ASSC
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance said:
The Scottish Tourism Alliance welcomes many of the measures announced in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, particularly the commitment to work with the business community to address challenges around increased costs and economic disruption.
The STA has made clear asks of the Scottish Government to press the UK Government for a reduction in VAT, introduce greater flexibility around immigration policy, support business in handling debt, including the extension of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and other loans, plus measures which will protect businesses from energy prices rises. It is encouraging to see that many of our asks on behalf of Scotland’s tourism industry are being addressed.
The announcement that a consultation on a new Islands Connectivity Plan to improve the resilience of the ferry will be welcomed by Scotland’s island communities.
It is however disheartening that the Scottish Government has announced that the legislative process around the implementation of several policies; a Transient Visitor Levy, the Deposit Return Scheme and the Short Term Let Bill will proceed over the coming year.
The STA Chair, Chief Executive and members of the STA Council have communicated directly with Scottish Government through requested meetings and consultations, seeking opinion and recommendations on what could be done in respect of existing, new and pending regulation which could help offset the significant increase in direct costs, particularly energy.
These costs are having to be absorbed by businesses within the tourism sector at a time when consumer spending is also in decline. Our ask was that these policy areas would be paused to allow the sector to recover from the pandemic and deal with the significant challenges ahead.
We have also stated that any reference to the possibility of additional levies being imposed on tourists at a future date would be very unwelcome and could potentially impact negatively on business and destinations who are needing to grow a future pipeline of demand in what is an increasingly competitive market-place.
We will continue our discussions around those areas with the Scottish Government in the coming weeks and we look forward to hearing more support for Scotland’s business community in its fiscal review announcement later this month.
 Scottish Government, A stronger and more resilient Scotland: The Programme for Government 2022 to 2023 (2022). Url: https://www.gov.scot/publications/stronger-more-resilient-scotland-programme-government-2022-23/