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Prioritising Scottish Tourism: Parliamentary Debate

The Scottish Conservative Party has submitted a motion which will be debated in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon (7th June).

Prioritising Scottish Tourism

That the Parliament believes that the tourism sector is a crucial element in the future sustainability of the Scottish economy; regrets the SNP-Scottish Green Party administration’s failure to prioritise tourism, and the weaknesses in Scotland’s infrastructure with the resulting detrimental effect on connectivity across rural and island areas, including failures in ferry services and the delay in progressing the dualling of both the A9 and the A96; notes the concern amongst the hospitality sector about the introduction of a visitor levy; condemns the flawed short-term lets policy and an anti-business agenda, which has resulted in additional costs and red tape for those across the tourism sector, and calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward an urgent blueprint to address the deep-seated concerns of the tourism sector and its related industries.
Current Status: Due in Chamber on 07/06/2023

The following two motions have been added:

S6M-09340.1: Daniel Johnson, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/06/2023

Prioritising Scottish Tourism

As an amendment to motion S6M-09340 in the name of Liz Smith (Prioritising Scottish Tourism), leave out from “notes” to end and insert “understands that the economic crisis and cost of living are impacting the tourism industry at a time when it is still recovering from previous shocks; notes with concern the flaws in the Scottish Government’s short-term lets policy and the issues raised by businesses in the tourism sector; recognises the need for a more joined-up and proactive economic strategy, which takes into account the reality that Scottish retail, tourism and leisure businesses are operating in, including an assessment of the impact of existing Scottish Government policy decisions on the sector, and calls on the Scottish Government to bring forward an urgent blueprint to address the concerns of business in the tourism sector and related industries.”
Current Status: Due in Chamber on 07/06/2023

S6M-09340.2: Neil Gray, Airdrie and Shotts, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/06/2023

Prioritising Scottish Tourism

As an amendment to motion S6M-09340 in the name of Liz Smith (Prioritising Scottish Tourism), leave out from “believes” to end and insert “welcomes the role that Scotland’s world-class tourism offering plays in creating jobs, sustaining communities and enhancing appreciation of the outstanding natural environment and cultural assets right across the country; notes that there were an estimated 3.2 million overseas visits to Scotland in 2022, which is only 7% lower than in 2019, whereas the comparable figure for the rest of the UK remained 25% below 2019; further notes that the proposed legislation for a visitor levy will provide local authorities with the powers to raise additional revenue if they choose and that revenue will be invested in improving services, with benefit for both visitors and the wider community in their area, further strengthening Scotland’s tourism offer; considers that energy costs, the need to cut VAT, the impact of high inflation and the impact of Brexit on labour shortages are the key issues facing the Scottish tourism sector; calls on the UK Government to use its reserved powers in a manner that supports rather than hampers Scottish tourism, and notes that all the signs are that 2023 will be a successful year for Scotland’s tourism sector.”
Current Status: Due in Chamber on 07/06/2023

Media Coverage:

Scotsman, Warning tourism businesses “won’t survive” because of Scottish Government policies, 06/06/23

Herald, Scottish tourism sector ‘being failed at every turn’, 06/06/23

Daily Business, Smith accuses SNP-Greens of failing tourism, 06/06/23

Scottish Daily Express, Scotland’s nationalist government has ‘anti-business agenda’ that is hammering tourism industry, 06/06/23

In order to inform the debate, the ASSC prepared a short briefing note for MSPs outlining the outstanding concerns on short-term let licensing and planning and highlighted our regulatory solutions which have already been presented to the Scottish Government. Read more:

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