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28/08/2019

Highland Council Tourism Levy Consultation – Briefing Note

Highland Council Tourism Levy Consultation – Briefing Note

Highland Council Tourism Levy Consultation – Briefing Note

Background

  • In December 2018, Highland Council committed to consulting residents, businesses and visitors on a potential transient visitor levy scheme.
  • On 15thAugust 2019, the consultation was launchedat the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee.
  • As part of this process, Highland Council published a pre-consultation report to inform their consultation which summarises the main themes of the discussions held between Council officers and representatives of the tourism industry from May and June 2019.[1]

Tourism Levy Consultation

  • Highland Council have not yet made a decision as to whether to support the introduction of a transient visitor levy.
  • The Council’s rationale for considering TVL is that visitors to the region should contribute to the maintenance and development of free public services and infrastructure they use.
  • The Council estimate that a Highland TVL could raise between £5-10m each year to help manage the impact of tourism and to invest in the Highland region.
  • The consultation itself consists of two components: (a) an online questionnaire aimed at residents and tourism businesses (and visitors); and (b) targeted face-to-face questionnaires with visitors across the Highlands conducted by researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Next Steps

  • The consultation will run until 20thOctober 2019.
  • The findings from the visitor survey, open consultation and research will be reported to Full Council on 12 December 2019, before being submitted to the Scottish Government.

Timeline

[1]Highland Council., Highland Transient Visitor Levy: Lessons from a Pre-Consultation with the tourism industry(2019). Url: http://www.highland.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/21027/tvl_pre-consultation_summary_report.pdf

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