Policy actions  3 of 3

Local visitor levy

We are proposing to give councils powers to introduce a visitor levy, sometimes known as a 'tourism tax'. This will generate funds to invest in local facilities and services, helping to attract more visitors. 

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023. 

If passed, the legislation will give local councils the ability to add a tax to overnight accommodation if they wish to do so. This will be based on a percentage of the cost, with the rate set by individual councils. 

Councils could choose to apply the levy in all or part of their area - but will have to consult with local communities, businesses and tourist organisations before introducing a levy. 

Funds raised must be reinvested in local facilities and services used by visitors.

The plans are part of our commitment to devolve more powers to local councils.

Impact assessment 

The bill is accompanied by the following impact assessments: 

Visitor levy expert group 

An expert group, led by national tourism agency VisitScotland, is being set up to consider how a visitor levy could best work. The group will bring together representatives from the tourist industry, local government and other partners. It will develop national guidance and best practice for councils in using the new discretionary power, if the legislation is passed.  

How we have consulted 

The visitor levy proposals follow a national discussion and public consultation.  

Find out more: 

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