67. This paper has set out a high-level overview of messages emerging from the national discussion on tourist taxes in Scotland. The national discussion benefitted from significant participation and contributions from stakeholders across Scotland, representing accommodation providers, the wider tourism industry, Local Authorities and others. The Scottish Government would like to thank all those who give their time to participate in the national discussion, either through attending the roundtable discussions, or through providing a written contribution.
68. The national discussion has emphasised that this subject is a complex one, which provokes strong opinions among those potentially affected. There is both support and opposition across Scotland to the idea of a tourist tax.
69. The national discussion illustrated potential opportunities and challenges associated with tourist taxes. It drew out a number of important issues and complexities that would need to be considered in the design and operation of a tourist tax, several of which may require consideration at national level. It also highlighted uncertainties around potential impacts, the potential for both regional and national impacts, and gaps in the evidence base in this area.
70. The national discussion also drew out a number of important issues and concerns, which the Scottish Government will look to investigate further. The evidence and views provided through the national discussion will help inform the issues considered through the formal consultation being undertaken in 2019, and the development of future legislation on this issue.
71. The national discussion was taken forward on an inclusive basis, where the Scottish Government sought to bring partners together to enable different voices from across Scotland to be heard within the debate. The Scottish Government also engaged with CoSLA and the Scottish Tourism Alliance in the design of the national discussion. The national discussion has emphasised the importance of stakeholder involvement and partnership working in this area, and the Scottish Government will seek to continue to work closely and collaboratively with our partners in Local Government and the tourism industry in the future.
Readouts from the National Discussion Roundtables