Edinburgh to introduce £2 a day tourist tax

Cathy Adams

Edinburgh will be the first UK city to introduce a tourist tax, as city councillors voted to back the levy.

It will likely not be introduced for the next few years, as the Scottish Parliament has to pass it into law first.

The proposed £2 a day tourist tax previously garnered strong support in a public consultation, with 85 per cent of respondents backing the tax.

The tax, officially the Transient Visitor Levy (TLV), will be added to the cost of all accommodation for the first week of a visitor’s stay.

Edinburgh’s City Council estimates that the tax would raise an estimated £14.6m a year, which will be used to support the cost of mass tourism to the city. Edinburgh receives more than 4 million international visitors a year.

Council leader Adam McVey previously spoke out in support of the tax, calling it an “obvious choice for Edinburgh”.

“It will help us continue to invest in and manage the success of tourism in our city, making sure we continue to offer one of the most enviable and enjoyable visitor experiences in the world,” he said.

“Plus, all of the research points to visitors being happy to pay a modest sum – just £2 – to help us do just that. A TVL is an obvious solution for the Council, for our people and for the future of our city.”

This week, Venice said it would introduce a booking system and entry fee for tourists that would cost up to €10 on the busiest days.