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09 January 2019

FSB on new Edinburgh tourism tax research

Reference number: SPUR0901

In response to the City of Edinburgh Council's latest research on attitudes towards the introduction of a tourist tax in the city, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) development manager for the East of Scotland, Garry Clark, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council survey is an interesting contribution to the ongoing debate in the capital on the merits and drawbacks of a tax on overnight guests to our city. Edinburgh businesses will want to digest these consultation results but many may ask how it addresses evidence suggesting that even a 3 per cent drop in Edinburgh’s visitor numbers could result in a £42m drop in the benefits of tourism to the city.

“As the Council doggedly pursues these proposals, businesses will reasonably expect detail on which firms would have to administer such a tax and what say they would have over how revenues were spent. All of this must also be viewed from the context of how such a tax would impact the tourism industry in Scotland as a whole. Ultimately, tourism is currently a Scottish success story – and we must not do anything to undermine this vital industry.”