About proposals for a visitor levy

Scotland's and ý's plans to introduce a levy

The Scottish Government has proposed to give councils powers to introduce a visitor levy.

The  was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023. If passed, the legislation will allow councils to add a tax to overnight accommodation if they wish to do so.

The draft Bill proposes that a visitor levy would be based on a percentage of the cost, with the rate set by individual councils. The amount would vary depending on the destination. Councils will have to consult with local communities, businesses and tourist organisations before introducing a levy. Funds raised must be reinvested in local facilities and services used by visitors.

Deciding to have a visitor levy in ý

We are currently looking at introducing a visitor levy in ý should the draft Bill be passed. The earliest that we could introduce a levy is 2026, based on the ‘grace periods’ set out in the draft bill.

Ahead of the Bill being passed, we are exploring options around

  • when the levy will be applied and to whom
  • how much the levy charge will be
  • how the levy might be invested to benefit the city, residents and visitors.

We continue to ask for views from city partners as well as expert groups like tourism organisations.

An informal survey was carried out from 23 November 2023 – 19 January 2024 to gather views from residents and visitors. We reported the  to the Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee in March 2024. These results will be used to develop formal public consultation later in 2024.

How a visitor levy would work

The draft Visitor Levy Bill says that a visitor levy will be calculated on accommodation only at point of booking.

The cost of add-ons are not part of a levy. This includes things like

  • food
  • drink
  • parking
  • entertainment
  • leisure passes
  • commission paid by the accommodation to a travel booking service.

The Bill also says that the levy must be a percentage of the room cost, not a fixed fee per room, person or night. The levy will be calculated on the pre-VAT value.

Scottish Government information

Progress update and draft proposals report