Fiona Hyslop delivered a speech at the Scottish Tourism Alliance Conference on 14th March 2019, and made the following comments on the introduction of a tourist tax:
“The contributions that we have already received as part of the previous national discussion on the tourist tax and published on 7 March have been extremely useful in drawing out a number of the very important and complex issues and concerns.
That legislation will allow those local authorities that wish to do so, to introduce a tax to meet the needs of their own area.
Let me be clear about two things – firstly, there will be no compulsion for local authorities to implement a tourism tax. Secondly, the requirement for the Scottish Parliament to consider legislation means that there will be no tourism tax levied in 2019 or indeed 2020 season, as consultation, legislation and indeed implementation if any council wants to introduce a tax, will take some time.
As the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament take forward and consider this legislation, it is important that everyone’s voice – all of your voices – are heard, so that whatever is produced services Tourism and Tourism needs.”
Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), Chief Executive, Fiona Campbell, said:
“On behalf of Scotland’s £723million self-catering sector, the ASSC welcomes this timescale”.
“While we continue to have concerns about the damage a tourist tax may cause – the timescale of 2021 for its implementation is reassuring.
“The period between now and then should be used to conduct a rigorous, empirical, and conclusive investigation into the practicalities of this policy and its potential impact on Scotland’s vital tourism offering.
“We also welcome the Tourism Secretary’s commitment to championing Scottish tourism and her recognition of the importance of helping and supporting our sector.
“By working together in an open and practical way, we at the ASSC are confident that government and the sector can find a model that works for everyone.”