Visitor Levy Bill: data protection impact assessment

Data protection impact assessment(DPIA) for the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill.

Data Protection Impact Assessment

Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill

Version date: 24 May 2023

Review date:

Review Date Details of update Completion date Approval date
Stage 2 DPIA will be reviewed to reflect any amendments
Stage 3 DPIA will be reviewed to reflect any amendments
Royal Assent DPIA will be reviewed to reflect any amendments

The purpose of this report is to assess the potential for privacy impacts and GDPR implications associated with proposals that make up the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill (“the Bill”).

This document will also provide an evaluation of how the protection of personal data has been considered, and demonstrate how the rights to privacy and confidentiality of the users are appropriately protected through mitigations.

The Bill will give local authorities a discretionary power to apply a visitor levy (VL) on overnight visitor stays in accommodation in all or parts of their area. This will be a discretionary power, for a Council to use if it chooses to do so. The proceeds raised from a VL will be able to be used for developing, supporting and sustaining facilities and services which are substantially for or used by those visiting the area for leisure purposes.

The core aims of the Bill are:

  • to provide local authorities with a discretionary power to introduce a local visitor levy on overnight accommodation in all or part of their area, should they wish to do so;
  • to provide a broad national framework for the establishment of local visitor levies by local authorities, including the basis of the charge, extent, and enforcement.

The Bill will provide local authorities with a new fiscal lever to improve and promote the visitor offer in their area. A power to introduce a VL has been a long‑term ask from local government – the Bill has been developed in response to this ask, and forms an important part of our commitment to agreeing a fiscal framework with local government. This, in turn, is also an important part of the ongoing work on the Local Governance Review, which considers how powers, responsibilities and resources are shared across national and local spheres of government, and with communities.

The discretionary power to introduce a VL will provide local authorities with additional resources to support local tourism strategies, and support our ambitious national tourism strategy (Scotland Outlook 2030), with a vision for Scotland to be a world leader in tourism by 2030.

The Scottish Government engaged with a range of stakeholders from the tourism industry, local authorities and the wider business community in Scotland in a National Discussion on a visitor levy. The National Discussion, which included six roundtable events across Scotland, each chaired by a Scottish Government Minister, ran between 23 November 2018 and 25 January 2019. A formal public consultation was then conducted for 12 weeks between September and December 2019, encouraging engagement with members of the public, local authorities, tourism businesses and national organisations in the realms of taxation. In addition to this engagement we reached out to stakeholders in Europe to learn about the variety of tourist tax approaches across Europe.

It is important to note throughout this assessment that the Bill is establishing a discretionary power for local authorities to use if they so wish. In exercising this new power, local authorities must have regard to their existing statutory duties under the Data Protection Act 2018.

This Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) works in conjunction with the Article 36(4) ICO consultation form submitted in advance of this, as the proposal requires consultation with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).



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