The Scottish Tourism Alliance is worried, and perhaps with good reason. An idea for a ‘bed tax’ for all visitors who would go to Edinburgh would, experts say, be the death knell for tourism in the area. As lovely as the city is, an extra levy on top of what tourists already have to pay would potentially leave its hotel bed empty for most of the year – even with the lure of the Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Fringe.
The Scottish Tourism Alliance is hopeful that the Scottish Government would reject any bid regarding this additional tax, even though the initial idea behind it would be to give the money raised (in part) to the festivals themselves, even creating a specific marketing strategy. One of the questions raised asked whether these world famous festivals really need any additional marketing money given to them since so many people already know everything about them.
The scheme, being discussed between senior councillors in Edinburgh and those in Westminster, is still in the very early stages, and nothing is sure at the moment. It is hoped, however, that should such a levy be introduced, it would not be passed directly on to the tourists who come to Edinburgh, already an expensive city to spend time in. Not only that, but it would become the only city in the UK to introduce such a tax, which would, the Scottish Tourism Alliance worries, tend to lead visitors to look elsewhere when they are thinking of booking their break away.
An idea similar to this has been brought up in the past, but the Scottish government decided against it.
Would you visit Edinburgh if it introduced a ‘bed tax’ for tourists? Would it make you think twice, and perhaps look elsewhere? Or would you pay it anyway because you wanted to visit Edinburgh specifically? Let us know your thoughts.