Transient Visitor Levy: Government Consultation

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The Scottish Government has opened a consultation on the principles of a local discretionary transient visitor levy or tourist tax.

In 2018 Scotland received an estimated 15.3 million overnight visitors. An increase of 0.5 million on the previous year (1). Where there is growth in visitors, there can be pressures on the activities that enhance the tourist experience, such as culture and the arts. These pressures led to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to call for powers to allow them to apply a ‘tourist tax’.

In 2018, Scotland received an estimated 15.3 million overnight visitors.

Visitor Levy

The tax is often referred to as "tourist tax" or 'transient visitor levy". In the consultation document, Scottish Government will use the term “visitor levy”.

The Scottish Government held round table events between November 2018 and January 2019 to learn more about the proposal. These events, branded 'National Discussion', illustrated opportunities and challenges associated with tourist taxes.



As part of the agreement of the 2019-20 Draft Budget, the Scottish Government committed to consult on the principles of a visitor levy. The consultation seeks to develop Government's understanding of the issues highlighted during the 'National Discussion'.

The consultation is open until 2 December 2019. Evidence gathered in the National Discussion is well presented on the Government webpage to support responses to the consultation.

Further information about how to respond to the consultation visit the ScotGov website here.


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  2. Photo Credit Ross Sneddon (Unsplash)