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Welsh Government

A visitor levy for Wales

We are working on proposals that will give local authorities powers to introduce a visitor levy.

  • Government finance (Sub-topic) and
  • Tourism and major events (Sub-topic)

Introduction

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We are working on proposals that will give local authorities powers to introduce a visitor levy. The money raised would support sustainable tourism, helping our communities and preserving the beauty of Wales for future generations.

Introducing a visitor levy is a Welsh Government Programme for Government commitment .

The proposals would require new legislation if taken forward. Policy development to legislation and implementation is a process that takes time. Measures are unlikely to come into force for several years, if approved by the Senedd. The visitor levy would represent a small amount of a visitor’s overall spend. Decisions on the rate of a levy in Wales will need to be approved by the Senedd as part of the legislative process.

Each local authority in Wales will have the power to decide if they want to introduce a visitor levy in their area.

Introducing a visitor levy in Wales has been under consideration for many years. The idea was suggested by the people of Wales as a potential area for revenue raising following a public call for ideas in 2017.

Following a debate in the Senedd on 4 July 2017, a Call for Ideas for new taxes was issued by the Finance Minister via a WG press notice .

We received over 35 letters and over 270 comments on social media. A tourism tax was one of the taxes put forward by members of the public for our consideration.

The timeline of events is as follows:

  • The Wales Act 2014 gave the then National Assembly for Wales powers to introduce new, devolved taxes in Wales.
  • The Bevan Foundation Tax for Good report released in 2016 contains suggestions for 8 new Welsh taxes, one of which was the visitor levy. 
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Finance (then Mark Drakeford) led a debate in the Assembly to start a conversation about the opportunities new taxes might provide for Wales.
  • He then issued a public call for ideas for potential new taxes for Wales.
  • Over 300 responses were submitted from members of the public via letter and on social media.

The Welsh Government engaged with stakeholders through the Ministerial Tax Advisory Group and official-level Tax Forum to gauge the views of representative bodies and experts before a shortlist was drawn up of 4 potential new taxes for Wales and announced in 2018. They were:

  • a social care tax
  • a vacant land tax
  • a disposable plastics tax
  • a tourism tax

In its Tax Policy Work-plan, the Welsh Government announced it would consider ways in which local authorities could be given permissive powers to develop and implement a tourism tax.

2020 to present day

  • A public call for evidence was due to follow in 2020 but was paused due to the pandemic.
  • Work on proposals for a visitor levy restarted in autumn 2021 as a Programme for Government Commitment and subsequently part of the Co-operation Agreement
  • The public consultation was held from September-December 2022 and included in-person engagement events across Wales and one online.
  • In March 2023, the Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS announced the intention to move forward with plans to develop visitor levy legislation.
  • Draft legislation will be introduced to the Senedd for scrutiny in autumn 2024.

For more information on the indicative timeline in the legislation process, see below.

We are committed to introducing legislation to enable local authorities to raise a visitor levy.

A visitor levy would follow the Welsh Government’s tax principles :

  • to raise revenue to fund public services as fairly as possible
  • deliver Welsh Government policy objectives, in particular supporting jobs and growth
  • be clear, stable and simple
  • be developed through collaboration and involvement
  • contribute directly to the Well Being of Future Generations Act goal of creating a more equal Wales

The proposals

We propose that a visitor levy will be a small additional charge to be levied on visitors staying overnight in visitor accommodation.

Any final decisions on how the levy will be applied will be taken following extensive scrutiny and a vote in the Senedd.

We believe it is fair and reasonable to ask visitors to make a contribution towards the wider costs of tourism. Our intention is to foster a sense of shared responsibility between residents and visitors, to protect, and invest in, local areas. Where a levy is used in Wales it should encourage a more sustainable approach to tourism.

We know that tourism plays a vital role in supporting local economies. But unbalanced, poorly supported tourism can also put pressure on local communities and undermine the visitor experience.

A visitor levy is not intended to put people off visiting Wales. Instead, we propose that it would be a small contribution by overnight visitors that will generate additional revenue for local authorities to reinvest in local communities. This would enable them to address some of the costs associated with tourism and encourage a more sustainable approach.

The purpose of the levy is to raise additional revenue for local authorities to reinvest in the public services and infrastructure that make tourism a success. Parts of Wales experience high numbers of seasonal visitors. Visitors make extensive use of public goods and infrastructure such as roads. A visitor levy would help fund localised costs from hosting visitors and enable additional public investment in tourism related infrastructure.

Tourism provides a substantial economic contribution to Wales. Tourism-related expenditure was more than £5 billion in 2019. We want to continue to see a thriving tourism industry in Wales and a strong recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

Use of a visitor levy supports the goal of ‘sustainable tourism’ as defined by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation:

Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.

Sustainable development on UNWTO

Investing in sustainable local communities

A levy will encourage the preservation and celebration of local communities.

Visitors from within Wales and elsewhere would be making a small contribution to help sustain and improve services. These services are important not only to those visiting, but also residents and businesses alike. We want visitors to know that their contribution will make a difference in supporting the destinations they love and enjoy, caring for and protecting local communities to enable them to continue to thrive.

The critical infrastructure that supports tourism should be supported by all those who rely on it. This includes keeping beaches and pavements clean, as well as maintaining local parks, toilets, and footpaths. Investing and maintaining these enhances the reputation of the destination and supports the visitor economy.

Local authority autonomy

We want to empower local authorities to make their own decisions according to the needs of their communities.

We are fortunate to live in a country that has such a diverse offering for tourists. From the sandy beaches of the Gower Peninsula to misty peaks in Eryri, to vibrant, experience-rich breaks in our cities. We recognise that the size of the visitor economy varies across Wales. Local authorities will be able to choose to raise additional funds through implementing a levy. However, how the levy is applied will be explored in the consultation.

Each local authority will make its own decisions on how the revenues are spent to develop sustainable tourism in their local areas.

Estimates of potential revenue raised by a levy will be provided as part of the impact assessment process.

Policy designed collaboratively in Wales, for the people of Wales

Extensive engagement is essential when developing a new policy.  We have engaged with a wide range of partners to understand and consider differing perspectives. Feedback we have received through the consultation and from engagement with key partners will help shape a proposal that works well across Wales. Discussions were held with local authorities, businesses, third-sector representatives, industry bodies, national parks, the Welsh Revenue Authority, online booking platforms and officials in overseas administrations which have well developed visitor levies.

We are in the early stages of determining the design and scope of a visitor levy. We will continue to engage widely to develop proposals on how a levy should operate in Wales over a number of years.

We recognise concerns raised by our partners and industry representatives about the development of a visitor levy. These include the impact the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis is having on businesses. We are currently at the start of the process. We will take on board all views and evidence as proposals progress to help inform our decisions.

Impact assessment and research

When developing legislation, we need to set out the impact a levy is likely to have – both positive and negative. A partial regulatory impact assessment will be issued alongside the consultation document, setting out the data we have available to us at this stage.

Provided alongside the partial regulatory impact assessment, is a compendium of data sources on visitor and accommodation numbers for different types of establishments (Serviced, Self-Catering, Camping/Caravan, Hostels). These figures provide some useful context in which to start framing insights into potential revenue generation and implementation costs.

We will continue to assess the potential economic impacts, as well as the broader environmental, social and cultural impacts. We will produce a regulatory impact assessment which will outline the potential impacts of any proposed legislation. This will accompany the draft bill when it is introduced to the Senedd in autumn 2024.

We are developing a robust evidence base to support the design and implementation of the levy. In May 2022, the Minister for Finance and Local Government approved funding for 3 research projects to support the development of the visitor levy. See here for the specifications .

1. An overview of the tax systems facing the visitor economy in selected countries

In our engagement with the tourism industry, businesses have highlighted concerns about the tax burden facing the industry. In particular, concerns have been raised around VAT. VAT rates are set by the UK government. The UK government set the VAT rate back to 20% for the hospitality sector as of 1st April 2022. This is an uplift from the 12.5% rate that had been in place for the sector since October 2021.

We have commissioned research to understand the different tax systems facing the visitor economy in general, and the accommodation sector in particular, in countries with similar economic and tourism characteristics to Wales. This will help us to understand the relative tax burdens facing the tourism industry in other countries, and how the proposed levy would interact with these.

2. Research on elasticities relevant to a visitor levy in Wales

Engagement has also highlighted concerns about how a levy will impact visitor and supplier behaviour. In response to this, we have commissioned a review of the existing research on this topic. The research is examining the evidence on the responsiveness of visitor demand and suppliers to changes in the price of tourism (‘the price elasticities’) and changes in visitor demand to changes in visitors’ income (‘the income elasticity of demand’).

Preliminary findings will be used to inform our understanding of the potential impact of the levy.

3. Analysis of the demographics of the accommodation sector in Wales

We have also commissioned the Office for National Statistic to produce an analysis of the demography of accommodation sector in Wales . The Welsh Government will use the data to inform understanding of the potential impact of the levy, and to support any evaluation activity taken forward.

4. Consumer research

The research was designed to obtain the views of Welsh residents and UK domestic holiday consumers on the potential discretionary visitor levy. It has explored opinions on whether visitors should contribute via a levy, are willing to pay a levy and if they would change their behaviour if a levy was introduced.

More than 2,500 respondents completed the survey; 1,005 lived in Wales. The results reflected broad support for the principle of a visitor levy. The research found that respondents to the survey were more positive than negative when introduced to the concept of a visitor levy in a place where they go on holiday or in their area. 45% were positive, and 25% were negative and positivity increased amongst people with lots of tourism in their area.

Those surveyed broadly supported the principle of a visitor levy. A majority (58%) of respondents agree that tourists should contribute towards the costs of maintaining and investing in the destinations they stay in, rising amongst people with lots of tourism in their area – in Wales (66%) and the UK (72%) with 13% disagreeing.

Visitor levy research: views of consumers and residents

Visitor levies overseas

Visitor levies are common across the world and more tourist destinations are introducing them to help fund the public services and infrastructure that are integral to the visitor experience. 

In Wales, we are designing a levy for local authorities to support sustainable tourism, not to deter visitors.

Visitor levies are used successfully across the world to improve the tourism offer to visitors, including:

  • Balearic Islands
  • New Zealand

Use of a levy in international examples provides funds that support green spaces, clean streets, visitor facilities, local communities, preservation of monuments, and public transport. These are integral elements to a visitor’s experience.

A commonly implemented version of a visitor levy is a levy on overnight stays in tourism accommodation. There is variation in the design, rates, and application of a tourism levy internationally. In international models the levy ranges from £0.50 to £5.00 per night. It is often charged per person, and tends to vary according to the accommodation type or cost.

There is little evidence to suggest they have a negative economic impact where they are proportionate. There is also limited evidence around displacement effects.

Greece operates a country-wide levy. In Italy, it is applied at a city/town municipality level. Catalonia operates a regional-wide levy.

In recent months, more destinations are seeking to introduce a visitor levy. The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023. If passed, the legislation will give local councils the ability to add a tax to overnight visitor accommodation if they wish to do so.

Manchester introduced a City Visitor Charge on 1 April this year for visitors staying overnight in certain accommodation.

Details of the outcome of the consultation which ended on 13 December 2022 can be found here.

The consultation explored the proposed design of the visitor levy. In December 2022, we commissioned an independent analysis of responses to the consultation in December 2022. This work was undertaken by Alma Economics.

We also published the outcomes of the independent consumer research undertaken by BVA-Bdrc, which explored views among the public about a visitor levy.

The Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) has conducted user research on behalf of Welsh Ministers to understand how accommodation providers currently operate and inform how a visitor levy would work in practice. Workshops have been held with a number of accommodation providers across Wales.

We will continue to engage with our key partners to understand differing views and inform the design of a levy that will work for everyone in Wales.

As we progress legislative proposals, we will assess the potential economic impacts, as well broader environmental, social and cultural impacts, of implementing a visitor levy in Wales.

We aim to keep the design and implementation of the levy simple and clear, to minimise the administrative burden placed on accommodation providers and local authorities.

The legislative process

A draft bill will be introduced into the Senedd by the end of 2024. The Senedd will scrutinise the draft bill, and may propose amending it as part of their review, before deciding whether or not to endorse it by means of a vote. This will take due time, we  estimate that this decision will be made in 2025.

If the Senedd approves the legislation, it will then be for each local authority to decide if it wishes to start the process to introduce a levy in their area.

A local authority would need to consult with its communities, and undertake its own impact assessments, to inform its decision about implementing a levy.

Once a local authority makes a decision to introduce a levy, there will be a notice period to ensure businesses and visitors are prepared.

Through the above process, we estimate that the earliest a visitor levy will be in place in any part of Wales is 2027.

The visitor levy will put power into the hands of local communities and give them a tool to encourage sustainable, regenerative tourism.

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Beware of Scammer Websites, selling the Tourist Tax Registration. They are not representing the Balinese Government. ONLY use the official LoveBali Portal that we linked in our FAQ below

Bali tourist tax / bali tourist levy.

The Tourist Tax for international visitors to Bali is a tax charged by Bali’s provincial government. This is all you need to know to get ready to come to Bali. Make sure you are only using the links mentioned tha guide you to the official website of the Bali government. 

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Bali Tourist Tax Regulations and How to Pay the Bali Tourist Tax

Faq - must know about the tourist tax (levy), the tourist tax will have to be paid by international travelers coming to bali, the tax applies to foreigners coming to bali..

For arrivals to Bali from outside Indonesia and also if you arrive coming from another province to Bali. 

The Bali Tourist Tax costs IDR 150,000 per person (ca. USD 10 and AUD 15). Regardless of the age of the traveler.

It seems, that for the online payment there is also a surcharge of Rp 4,500

Most probably you will not be checked (yet). The reason is, that the immigration officers and airport personnel is not responsible to check if you paid. And the Balinese government has not yet installed check points, which might happen over time.

Still you have to pay the tax and checks can happen at popular tourist destinations or then also at the airport and harbours upon entry. 

You can pay the tax online on the official Bali Tourism Website ( ONLY use that website, don't pay the tax anywhere else, there might be websites run by scammers).

Official website to pay the bali tourist tax lovebali.baliprov.go.id/.

You will also be able to pay the tax upon arrival (airports and harbours). We strongly suggest however you pay already online before you arrive.

At times the Official Bali Tax Website might be offline. 

Lovebali.baliprov.go.id/.

Don't pay the tax anywhere else! Keep trying and come back to the website. Worse case, you can arrive in Bali without paying for the tourist tax online in advance, and then pay at the lovebali-counters. The Balinese government is in the process of installing payment counters at the checkpoints at the airports and harbours.

Travelers with following Visas are exemption from paying the Bali Tourist Tax, without having to apply for the exemption online (automatic exemption)

  • Holders of Diplomatic Visas and Official Visas
  • Crew Members of Conveyances are exempted
  •  KITAS & KITAP Holders (Holders of Temporary and permanent stay permits)
  • Family unification visa holders
  • Student Visa Holders

Foreigners can apply for an exemption on the official website . Apply at least 5 days before your arrival

  • Golden Visa Holders
  • Any other Visa issued by the immigration office, that do not have the travel purpose tourism ,. In other words, travelers with any visas that is issued with the travel purpose "tourism"  will have to pay the tax.

On the official website the government states:

Bali tourist tax exemption

We are not the government, so unfortunately we cannot help you with this issue. 

First we would check the Spam / Junk Folder, to be sure you did not receive it. 

You can also write a message to the support on 

It seems that the official site from the Bali government still has problems from time to time. Since we are not representing the government and are not charging any taxes or fees, we cannot assist you in this matter. We suggest you keep trying opening the website. Worse case, you can pay the tourist tax upon arrival.

Only use the official Bali Tax Website:

The tourist tax (levy) is a local tax that the Bali administration is implementing, it is only related to Bali and not to Indonesia

The bali administration has issued following statement:, the levy is paid only 1 (one) time while traveling in bali, before the person leaves the territory of the republic of indonesia., how they will control this is not yet clear to us, but it seems that if you travel to bali, pay the tax, then go to lombok, return to bali, you would not have to pay the tourist tax again., the bali administration has announced that they want to use the income of the tourist tax for the following initiatives (official statement from the bali administration):, preserve heritage, protecting balinese customs, traditions, arts and local wisdom, ensuring the sustainable culture of bali island., nurture nature, contribute to the nobility and preservation of bali's unique culture and natural environment, making it an even more beautiful destination., elevate your experience, improve the quality of service and balinese cultural tourism management, promising you a safe and enjoyable travel adventure in bali., bali and the indonesian tourism officials have discussed over the last few years how they can protect the environment better, handle mass tourism, improve infrastructure and handle the growing trash problem, increase income for the local population who do not yet benefit from the growing tourism sector. they wish to encourage travelers to respect and participate the local culture more and overall have a better experience when they visit the island of gods., for the moment it seems, yes, but we expect the local administration to clarify at some point., 14th february 2024, essentials for your bali vacation.

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visitor tourism levy

A local tourism levy for Wales: your questions answered

This week is Wales Tourism Week . Before the pandemic, in 2019, there were 87.3 million day visits, just under 10.7 million overnight domestic trips, and a little over 1 million international trips to Wales . Tourism is important to Wales. Provisional figures for 2019 show tourism generated a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £3.4 billion , contributing 5% GVA to the Welsh economy.

The proposed tourism levy is a hot topic within the sector. Tourist levies are common in many tourist destinations across the world. They’re used to finance the maintenance and upkeep of tourist facilities as well as caring for the environments that tourists visit.

The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and the Cooperation Agreement both pledge to introduce legislation to allow local authorities to charge a tourism levy.

This article explains what the tourism levy is, the wider context of tourism levies globally and in the UK, and the arguments being made for and against introducing a levy in Wales.

What’s the Local Tourism Levy and why’s it being proposed?

The Local Tourism Levy would be applied to overnight stays in Wales. The decision to charge a levy would be left to individual local authorities, and the money raised would be invested into the local authority area.

The Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans, says the levy is an opportunity for local authorities to “manage and invest in the services and infrastructure which make tourism a success”, whether this be cleaning beaches or maintaining toilets and footpaths.

The levy is being proposed to support the future of tourist locations by promoting a more sustainable approach to tourism. The exact fee visitors will be charged hasn’t been decided yet.

What’s the international context of tourist levies?

Tourist levies are used in many places across the world. In Europe, tourist levies, or occupancy taxes , are charged on short-term stays, usually applying to each person (with exemptions for children) per night.

They’re as low as €0.10 in Bulgaria and as high as €7.50 in Belgium . Levies can also vary by accommodation type. In Paris, for example, levies range from €0.20 for campsites to €3.00 for five star hotels , plus additional departmental and regional taxes paid on all types of accommodation. This compares to somewhere like Porto where €2 is charged per person per night regardless of where you’re staying. In some places, such as Berlin (5%) and Vienna (3.2%) , levies are charged as a percentage of the accommodation cost.

Not all tourist levies are charged on a nightly basis. In Japan, visitors pay a flat-rate of 1,000 Japanese yen (about £6) to cruise or airline operators when they leave the country . New Zealand’s International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy is a single fee of NZ$35 (about £18), which is paid before visitors enter the country.

What about tourist levies in the United Kingdom?

The prospect of a tourism levy isn’t ground-breaking within the UK, having been discussed in the UK Government’s 2007 Lyons Inquiry into Local Government . While an overall levy for England wasn’t supported, a suggestion was made to the UK Government to consider the costs and benefits of allowing local authorities to raise a tourism tax. The then Labour UK Government and opposition parties were in agreement about not pursuing the recommendations .

Local tourism levies have subsequently been considered for a number of places in the UK, including London , Liverpool , Cornwall , and Bath , but none have followed through with these proposals.

In 2019, the Scottish Government consulted on the principles of a “transient visitor levy” in response to tourism pressure in certain areas in Scotland. The proposal was put on hold in March 2020 and plans haven’t yet resumed.

Regarded as a UK first, a tourism-related charge was implemented at the local level in 2014. The London Borough of Hackney launched a project with a voluntary £1 donation added to stays in certain local hotels, up to a maximum of three nights. Donations form part of the Hackney Community Fund, which has been earmarked to support hospitality training schemes, cultural events, and fund improvements to public spaces in the borough. It’s unclear what the impact of this initiative has been.

What does the Welsh tourism sector think?

The Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) acknowledges the use of tourism levies in other countries , but emphasises that where levies are implemented, rates of VAT are typically lowered on tourism and hospitality. With the current UK-wide rate of VAT, the WTA suggests introducing a tourism levy would be a form of “double taxation” when compared to other destinations. It’s also concerned the additional cost might discourage visitors on lower incomes from coming to Wales, or travelling within Wales itself.

UK Hospitality Cymru has labelled the tourism levy as “the wrong tax at the wrong time” , given the impacts of the pandemic on the sector. It has also said that increased prices might push customers to competitors , with Llandudno Hospitality Association expressing similar observations about the impact that a levy could have on the competitiveness of Wales with other tourist destinations in the UK.

Anglesey Tourism Alliance recognises tourism levies work in other destinations , but warns against a “knee-jerk reaction” and calls for consultation with the sector and visitors.

Where are we now and what happens next?

The Minister recently approved funding for three research projects to support development of the levy. It’s been reported the research will consider the economic impacts of a tourism levy; the tax systems of other countries where tourism levies are used; and an assessment of the demographics of the accommodation sector in Wales.

The Welsh Government is due to consult on draft legislation for the levy in Autumn 2022.

Article by Isobel Pagendam , Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament

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View of Tenby Harbour, with Castle Hill. The proposals have been fiercely criticised by tourism bodies who worry a levy could discourage visitors.

Wales may impose ‘visitor levy’ on overnight guests

Proposal to tax visitors – including Welsh residents – branded a ‘misguided and damaging bed tax’

Everyone who overnights in Wales, whether it be in a luxury hotel, a cosy holiday cottage or the most basic campsite, may face a “visitor levy” under a hugely controversial Welsh government scheme.

The Labour-led government has launched a consultation on the proposal that could result in almost all visitors – including Welsh residents staying away from home – being taxed for their stays.

It argues that the idea is to raise money that local authorities will be able to reinvest to improve tourist spots and engender a feeling of “shared responsibility” between residents and visitors.

The proposals have been fiercely criticised by many tourism businesses who worry a levy could make Wales seem less welcoming, especially as the consultation comes at a time of the cost of living crisis.

Suzy Davies, the chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance , branded it a “misguided and damaging bed tax”. She added: “Visitor numbers have not recovered since the pandemic. The Welsh government has not gone for higher parking charges for day visitors or entry fees to vulnerable landscapes: it has gone for the staying guest.”

The government says dozens of places around the world charge a levy, but Davies said: “Wales is not like destinations which already charge a tourism tax. They enjoy other targeted tax cuts for tourism and hospitality, which mitigate the effect on their businesses. Also, unlike many other countries, the current plans will see any tax take disappear into local authority coffers without any guarantee of additional local spend.”

Rowland Rees-Evans, the director of a holiday park near Aberystwyth, said he could understand why places such as Venice might introduce taxes as a way of capping visitor numbers. “But we want to expand and grow. The industry is very wary and worried.”

The Conservatives in Wales labelled it a “tourism tax” and estimated it could cost families an extra £75 for a six-night stay and put jobs at risk.

Paul Williams, the general manager of Llandudno Pier, said: “Imposing a visitor levy could potentially be disastrous to the local economy, making Wales out to be less welcoming than its neighbours, especially during these uncertain times.”

Introducing a visitor levy is a programme for government commitment, the work being carried out with Plaid Cymru as part of a cooperation agreement between the two parties.

Each local authority in Wales would have the power to decide if they want to introduce the levy, and the government said the money raised would be reinvested to support local tourism – for example, keeping beaches clean or improving footpaths.

Rebecca Evans, the Welsh minister for finance and local government, said: “Our intention is to bring about a sense of shared responsibility between residents and visitors. By asking visitors – whether they have travelled from within Wales or from further afield – to make a small contribution towards maintaining and enhancing the place they are visiting, we will encourage a more sustainable approach for tourism.”

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The minister said Wales was not aiming to bring in a fee as a way of limiting visitor numbers, as Venice does, but to encourage more people in by making places more attractive – the model she said Mallorca follows.

It has not been decided if a charge will be made per visitor, per room or as a percentage of the overall cost of the stay – and whether young people will be charged. The size of the levy is one of the issues that will be consulted on but it is thought that it may be set at a few pounds.

There would be exceptions – for example, hostels for homeless people, victims of domestic violence, accommodation for refugees and people living on Gypsy and Traveller sites.

The government said it could take years before a levy was introduced but Evans said Wales could become the first UK nation to introduce such a scheme. “I don’t think we’ll be the last,” she added.

Cefin Campbell, a Plaid Cymru Senedd member, said: “At the moment the burden of providing services an infrastructure falls mainly on local taxpayers. We think as a matter of principle that burden should be widened to include those who come as visitors.”

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Welsh Government launches public consultation on ‘tourism tax’ plans

visitor tourism levy

The Welsh Government has launched a public consultation today, September 20, on proposals to give local authorities the powers to introduce a ‘tourism tax’ visitor levy.

The levy would be a small charge paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.

“ These proposals are about preparing for the future. Our intention is to bring about a sense of shared responsibility between residents and visitors, to protect, and invest in, our local areas,” Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans said . 

“By asking visitors – whether they have travelled from within Wales or from further afield – to make a small contribution towards maintaining and enhancing the place they are visiting, we will encourage a more sustainable approach for tourism.”

Proposals for a visitor levy have been progressed through Welsh Government’s Co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru. 

“While Wales may be the first place in the UK to introduce such a levy, we do not believe it will be the last – as we have seen recently, a visitor levy may soon be introduced in Edinburgh so Wales is not alone,” Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said .

“We want to continue to see a thriving tourism industry in Wales. It is vital we have sustainable, responsible tourism that works both for visitors and for the communities they are visiting. 

“Should local authorities decide to implement a visitor levy, it could make a real difference in communities across Wales to help develop and protect local services and infrastructure.

“We welcome all views in understanding what would work well for Wales and encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation.”

Councillor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), WLGA Leader said: “ Wales is known the world over as a top destination, but it’s important to ensure that tourism is sustainable and has the right investment so that it can be enjoyed in the future. 

“Under these proposals, councils would have the discretion to raise the levy to ensure their communities and the tourism infrastructure is properly funded. 

“Levies are a common feature in tourist destinations internationally and the forthcoming consultation is an important opportunity for residents and businesses to have their say on the way forward.”

visitor tourism levy

Who should pay?

The consultation seeks views on who should pay a levy, who would be charging and collecting the levy, how the levy could be best applied and how revenues from the tax could be allocated.

Each local authority in Wales will have the power to decide if they want to introduce a visitor levy, and the money raised will be re-invested in local areas to support local tourism. 

More than 40 countries and holiday destinations around the world have introduced a form of visitor levy, including Greece, France, Amsterdam, Barcelona, and California. 

A discretionary visitor levy for local authorities in Wales would represent a very small proportion of a visitor’s overall spend.

The process of translating proposals for a visitor levy into legislation will span a number of years, and will be subject to approval by the Senedd.

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  • Paying the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)

Many tourists, people on working holidays, and some students and workers coming to New Zealand must pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35.

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Who must pay an IVL

Only some people coming to New Zealand must pay an IVL. It depends on:

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  • the visa you apply for — if you need one.

If you know the name of your visa

If you know the name of your New Zealand visa, you can find out if you need to pay an IVL by using our online tool — Fees, decision times and where to apply. For example, if you are from Peru and coming for a working holiday, your visa is a Peru Working Holiday Visa.

All the information about fees, including the IVL, shows in the results.

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You can work out which visa you need to apply for by checking out the different options that apply to your situation.

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You do not pay an IVL if you:

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There are some other visa holders who do not need to pay the IVL. Use our online tool, Fees, decision times and where to apply, to confirm what applies to you.

When to pay an IVL

If you need to pay the IVL, you pay it when you:

  • request an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority), or
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You pay an IVL every time you request an NZeTA or apply for a visa that includes the IVL.

We do not refund the IVL, even if we decline your application.

What we use the IVL for

The number of visitors coming to New Zealand has grown strongly over the past few years and growth is expected to continue. The IVL is your contribution to maintaining the facilities and natural environment you will use and enjoy during your stay.

Find out about the kind of projects that the levy will be used to fund.

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International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

Since 1 July 2019, most international visitors to New Zealand are charged the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of $35. The IVL is invested in projects that will help to create productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth that supports and protects our environment and enriches New Zealanders’ lives.

On this page

In this section.

The IVL is a $35 levy that is charged to most international visitors to New Zealand. The IVL aims to address current challenges in the tourism and conservation systems.

The IVL fund is split evenly across tourism and conservation projects to ensure investment that will help to create productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth while protecting and supporting our environment.

The projects funded by the IVL are examples of how visitors have directly contributed to the unique natural heritage they enjoy, and the infrastructure they use while they’re here.

The IVL annual performance reports are co-owned by MBIE and the Department of Conservation. They record how the revenue generated by the IVL is allocated, and measure the yearly progress made by the projects the IVL funds. Each reporting year runs from 1 July to 30 June.

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The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax

This report presents findings from the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax. The consultation ran from 9 September to 2 December 2019.

Executive Summary

Introduction.

This summary presents notable findings from the Scottish Government's consultation on the Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax. The consultation ran from 9 September to 2 December 2019. The consultation paper is available from the Scottish Government's website at: https://consult.gov.scot/local-government-and-communities/visitor-levy/ .

In total, 1,701 responses were available for analysis. Of these, 1,202 were based on a Living Rent-related campaign and did not address any of the questions set out within the consultation directly. The main report focuses on analysis of the other 499 responses received [1] . Of these, 224 were from groups or organisations and 275 responses were from individuals [2] .

Organisational respondents have been allocated to one of 15 categories by Craigforth and Scottish Government analysts. A diverse range of organisations responded to this consultation, from international hotel groups and local authorities to independent B&Bs and community councils. The two largest groups of organisational respondents were accommodation providers, with 49 responses from hotels and 67 responses from other accommodation providers. The other accommodation providers group included B&Bs, guest houses, caravan parks and campsite businesses.

The comments of a number of individual respondents suggest that they are also connected with the tourist industry and, in particular, may be accommodation providers.

The consultation asked 33 questions, and this summary focuses on some of these. The full analysis across all the questions is set out in the main report.

The focus of the analysis was to consider the range of views submitted, rather than quantify the balance of wider public opinion. All respondents' comments have been given equal weight in the analysis.

As with any public consultation exercise, those responding generally have a particular interest in the subject area and the views they express cannot be seen as representative of wider public opinion.

The balance between local autonomy and national consistency

The consultation paper suggested that there should be some overarching design principles for a visitor levy set out in national legislation. Within this national framework the intention would be to create a balance between national consistency and local autonomy. Three possible options were set out in the consultation paper and there was no clear consensus on this issue among respondents.

A visitor levy set out mostly at the local level with some overarching national principles was supported by 42% of those answering Question 1. Individuals were more likely to favour this option than organisations (50% and 31% respectively). The majority of Local authority respondents supported this approach.

A wholly national framework was supported by 36% of those responding, with organisations much more likely to support this approach than individuals (52% and 24% respectively). Accommodation providers tended to favour this approach.

A visitor levy set out mostly at the national level with some local discretion was supported by 22% of those responding.

Mostly at local level with some overarching national principles: A common theme raised by those favouring this option was that any approach needs to offer enough flexibility for the differing requirements of each local authority area to be considered. An often-connected point was that Scotland's tourism economy is also very diverse and that what might be appropriate for one area would not work in another. Those taking this view suggested that local authorities will know their area best and are best placed, therefore, to make decisions regarding a visitor levy. There was also a view that decision-making should be devolved to as local a level as possible, although there were references to the importance of having some overarching principles to underpin any approach.

Wholly in a national framework: Many of the reasons given for supporting a wholly national framework centred around simplicity – in general, for visitors or businesses. For visitors, it was suggested that a national framework would be less confusing and that a consistent approach would be more easily understood. From a business perspective, the focus was often on minimising the administrative burden, particularly on businesses which operate in more than one local authority area.

Mostly at a national level with some local discretion: The themes raised by those preferring this option were often similar to those highlighted by respondents preferring the 'mostly at local level with some overarching national principles' option. It was also sometimes referred to as being the fairest approach because it would help create a more level playing field for businesses.

The design of a visitor levy

Basis of charge.

The consultation paper set out four options for how a visitor levy might apply to an overnight stay in commercially let accommodation and sought views on each (Question 4). There was no clear consensus emerging from responses to this question.

A levy based on a percentage of the total accommodation charge was preferred by the largest proportion of those responding (35%). Individuals and organisations were fairly similar in their support of this option (37% and 32% respectively). The Accommodation provider (other) group were most likely to prefer this approach.

Overall, 32% of respondents favoured a flat rate per person per night. Individuals favoured this approach more than organisations (42% and 18% respectively).

A flat rate per room per night was supported by 24% of respondents overall. Organisations were more likely than individuals to support this approach (44% and 11% respectively). Accommodation provider (hotel) respondents were particularly likely to favour this option.

The consultation explained that the fourth option (flat rate per night dependent on the quality of accommodation) would be difficult to implement given the lack of a compulsory quality rating scheme in Scotland. This option was favoured by 9% of respondents.

A percentage of total accommodation charge: Among respondents who preferred this option, the reason given most frequently was that it is fair or progressive given it is related to the ability to pay and those choosing to use more expensive accommodation would also pay more tax. A percentage charge was also suggested to be well understood, and to be a method of calculation that is widely used elsewhere. Other points made in favour of a percentage charge included that it would reflect seasonal and geographical variations in accommodation prices. A need for clarity on what is meant by 'total accommodation charge' was also noted, particularly with respect to possible inclusion of 'extras' in the figure on which a levy is calculated. Respondents who argued against a percentage charge suggested that it is too complicated, and that the room rate that a visitor levy is applied to, and associated revenue raised, may vary where differential pricing means room rates vary. A risk of a negative impacts on providers of more expensive accommodation was suggested.

Flat rate per person per night: A flat rate per person levy was frequently argued to be simple to implement and to be a mechanism used in other countries. It was also suggested to be fair, since it is individuals who make demands on services. However, a flat rate levy was argued to be regressive and unfair to those on low incomes, with a related risk of negative impact for budget accommodation providers. The tension between making a levy easier to administer and reflecting ability to pay was noted.

Flat rate per room per night: The most frequent reason given for choosing a flat rate per room charge was that this would be simple or the easiest to apply, including because the hotel industry convention is to charge per room per night. It would also be advantageous to couples and families sharing a room but more expensive for single travellers. As with a flat rate per person, it was argued to be regressive.

Flat rate per night dependent on the quality of accommodation: As for a percentage charge, a flat rate dependent on the quality of the accommodation was argued to be fair or progressive since those selecting higher quality accommodation would pay more. However, and as noted in the consultation paper, the lack of any universally accepted rating system would present a major obstacle for a charge based on quality. Such a basis for charging was also thought likely to deter provision of higher quality accommodation.

A majority of respondents, 65% of those answering the relevant question (Question 6), thought that the basis of the charge should be set out in a national framework. The themes raised very much reflected those expressed by respondents who thought that the design of a visitor levy should be set out wholly in a national framework. Other comments addressed fairness and suggested that the basis of the charge being set out in a national framework could help avoid competition between local authorities and distortions developing in the tourism market.

The themes raised by respondents who thought that the basis of the charge should be decided by local authorities also reflected those expressed by respondents who thought that the design of a visitor levy should be mostly at a local level or mostly at a national level with some local discretion.

Calculating the rate

A majority of respondents, 57% of those answering the relevant question (Question 7), thought that the rate of the visitor levy should be set out in a national framework. In terms of the overall approach to be used, it was suggested that the national framework should set out a range within which a rate could be set, but then allow for local discretion as to the precise rate set. However, there was an associated concern that local authorities would be likely to charge the maximum rate permitted. The majority of local authorities favoured the rate being decided at the local level.

In terms of the factors to be considered to ensure the rate of the visitor levy is appropriate (Question 8), a number of the comments reflected the wider objections sometimes raised to the introduction of a visitor levy. For example, it was suggested that factors to be considered should include the competitiveness and reputation of Scotland as a tourism destination and the wider tax regime.

A general theme raised was the need for any decisions to be based on robust evidence, and there were calls for independent economic impact assessments to be carried out. Other comments addressed the local market circumstances which should be considered, with suggestions including visitor numbers, consumer price sensitivity and seasonal variations. A specific suggestion was that there should be benchmarking of the rate against rates being charged in other tourist destinations or countries or, specifically, other European or EU cities or countries.

Other comments focused on the balance between the cost of administering a levy for the local authority, and the cost to businesses of collecting the levy, relative to the revenues obtained.

The consultation paper suggested that there are some groups for whom it would be unacceptable to impose a visitor levy under any circumstances including: homeless people; asylum seekers and refugees; travelling communities; and victims of domestic abuse placed temporarily in refuges or short term accommodation.

A majority of respondents, 78% of those answering the relevant question (Question 10), thought that all exemptions should be the same across Scotland and therefore set out in the national legislation. Some concerns were raised about the feasibility of administering exemptions.

With regard to a range of possible additional exemptions, the highest level of support was for an exemption for those receiving medical care outwith their local authority area and their carers or next of kin, followed by there being exemptions for children and young people or for local residents. The lowest level of support was for business travellers being exempt.

Administration and compliance

Compliance costs to accommodation providers.

Respondents were evenly divided as to whether accommodation providers should be ultimately responsible for collection and remittance of a levy (Question 13). Among organisational respondents, Tourism and hospitality industry representative organisations all disagreed with the proposal as did a majority of Accommodation provider (other) respondents, while most other groups agreed or were evenly divided. The need for any remittance system to be set up in consultation with the industry and for this to involve accommodation providers of all types was suggested by respondents irrespective of their view on whether providers should be ultimately responsible for collection and remittance of a levy.

In terms of how frequently the levies collected should be remitted to the levying local authority (Question 14), the highest level of support, at 40%, was for remittance of levies to local authorities on a quarterly basis, with 30% preferring monthly remittance and 25% annual remittance. While a large majority of the Accommodation provider (hotel) group preferred quarterly remittance of levies, those in the Accommodation provider (other) group were more likely to favour remittance on an annual basis. Local authority respondents preferred monthly remittance.

Local authority administration and enforcement

The consultation paper noted that if accommodation providers are responsible for collecting and remitting a visitor levy, the local authority must be able to receive such payments. This would require knowing which businesses, premises or individuals should be remitting receipts and having powers to enforce the legislation. Most frequently, respondents commented on the need for a registration scheme, or specifically that any local authority wishing to charge a visitor levy would need to set up a registration scheme or introduce a licensing regime.

In terms of the enforcement powers a local authority should have to ensure compliance and prevent avoidance and evasion, respondents most-frequently suggested some form of civil penalty, often referring to a fine or penalty charge. Other comments suggested that non-compliance could or should result in a provider no longer being able to let their accommodation or their premises being closed.

A majority of respondents, 58% of those answering the relevant question (Question 18), thought that non-compliance by an accommodation provider should be subject to a civil penalty ( i.e. a fine). Individual respondents were more likely to think civil penalties to be appropriate than were organisational respondents (61% and 53% respectively).

Local decision making

Local authorities wishing to implement a visitor levy.

The consultation paper set out a list of possible requirements that local authorities could be expected to meet before being able to introduce a visitor levy. Examples included having held a consultation in their local area to gather views from all those who will be affected by the visitor levy and having conducted the required impact assessments.

Support was at a consistently high level across all the options - ranging from 96% to 82% of those answering the question (Question 19) agreeing with the requirements. The requirement attracting the lowest level of support was a timeframe for introduction of at least one financial year following conclusion of consultation and engagement activities.

With regard to whether the Scottish Government should be able to prevent a local authority from applying a visitor levy, 57% of those answering the relevant question (Question 20), thought they should. In terms of under what circumstances the Scottish Government should be able to do this (Question 21), a frequent comment was that the Scottish Government should be able to prevent a local authority from applying a visitor levy if it has not, or cannot demonstrate that it has, gone through the necessary steps or met the requirements set out at Question 19.

There was a call for robust evidence to be in place relating to whether a levy would be of benefit to the local community, tourist industry and businesses and whether it would have a negative impact on the local tourist economy. It was suggested that the Scottish Government should be able to prevent the introduction of a visitor levy where there is evidence that the decision is detrimental to local business interests and the wider Scottish tourism sector.

How revenues should be spent

The consultation paper noted that the intention is that receipts from a visitor levy within a local authority area should be spent on tourism-related activities, including responding to tourism pressures, in that local authority area. The consultation sought views on whether, where a local tourism strategy exists, a local authority should allocate revenues towards delivering the priorities articulated in this strategy.

A majority of respondents, 73% of those answering the relevant question (Question 24), thought revenues from a visitor levy should be allocated to priorities articulated through local tourism strategies, where they exist. There were only two types of respondent (Community council or residents' association and Trades union, political party or campaign organisation respondents) amongst whom the majority did not support this approach.

Articulated through local tourism strategies : Respondents who thought revenues should be allocated in line with local tourism strategies often commented that spend should be focused on, or restricted to, specific tourism-related activities. It was also suggested that having a local tourism strategy in place should be compulsory or that having a strategy in place should be a condition of being able to charge a visitor levy.

There were specific references to tourism development activities being the only appropriate focus of spend or to monies being ring-fenced for tourism-related infrastructure in the relevant local authority.

Not articulated through local tourism strategies: Those who did not think revenues from a visitor levy should be allocated to priorities articulated through local tourism strategies often focused on alternative priorities for spending. The themes raised, and alternatives suggested, were often similar to those identified by respondents who did think revenues should be allocated to priorities articulated through a tourism strategy but who thought that other sectors, such as culture, or public services should benefit as well.

Other comments included that revenues should be spent to benefit both local residents and visitors. There were references to spending on local infrastructure, such as on maintaining the road network. It was sometimes simply noted that priorities should be a matter for local authorities to determine.

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Visitor levy legislation introduced

Councils empowered to raise money for local tourism.

The Scottish Government has published a news release announcing a Bill to enable councils to invest more in local tourism facilities and services through a levy on overnight stays.

If passed by the Scottish Parliament, the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill will give councils the power to apply a levy on stays in overnight accommodation based on a percentage of the accommodation cost.

All money raised would have to be reinvested locally on facilities and services substantially for or used by visitors enhancing the visitor experience and benefitting local communities and their economies.

Under the plans, councils would be required to consult communities, businesses, and tourism organisations before putting a visitor levy in place. They would also have to consult on how any revenue raised should be spent.

The proposals follow public consultation in 2020 and form part of the New Deal for Local Government. It gives councils greater financial flexibility and strengthens local democracy.  Read the analysis of responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the principles of a local visitor levy .

Scotland is already a very popular tourist destination and the domestic and international visitors we welcome every year have a significant and positive impact on the Scottish economy. Giving councils the power to introduce a visitor levy is one tool that will provide additional resources to continue to attract visitors to Scotland. Levies on visitors staying in paid-for accommodation are already used around the world and it is reasonable for local areas to want a small contribution from tourists to help support and sustain visitor economies. There have been significant contributions to the Bill so far from the tourism industry, COSLA and other partners and I look forward to continuing to work with them as it progresses through Parliament. Tom Arthur, Public Finance Minister

Advisory group to be formed

The Scottish Government has also invited representatives from the tourism industry, including the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), COSLA and other partners to join an expert group to consider how it could be implemented if passed.

We have been asked to bring together tourism industry bodies and local government to discuss how best any visitor levy can be implemented and to develop national guidance for local authorities.

Tourism is a force for good and our destinations play an important role in regional economic growth. If passed, a visitor levy could offer an opportunity to develop local investment proposals which could benefit our economy and our communities. Investment such as this will ensure that Scotland continues in its efforts to be a world leader in 21st century tourism. We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to engaging with stakeholders across the tourism sector as the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill progresses through parliament. We look forward to working closely with the industry, including the STA, and COSLA to develop non-statutory guidance for the proposed scheme. Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive, VisitScotland

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill , if passed, will give a local authority the power to introduce a visitor levy in its area, if it wished to do so.

The levy would be a percentage of the overnight accommodation cost with the rate set by the local council.

Councils would be able to apply a visitor levy in all or parts of their area. The levy would be collected by the accommodation providers and remitted to the relevant local authority on a regular basis (the default being quarterly).

It applies to almost all types of overnight accommodation within the area where a visitor levy is being applied, including hotels, self-catering accommodation, and campsites.

Taxes on overnight visitor stays are common across Europe and in other locations around the world.

As of 2023, 21 out of the 27 EU member states charge occupancy taxes. Some cities and regions (such as Berlin) use the levy as a way to increase general revenues while others (such as Nice and the Balearic Islands) ring-fence all or part of the revenues to fund specific projects.

Read the full Scottish Government press release.

Related links

Survey of hospitality workers and businesses, new policy prospectus launched by first minister, short-term lets legislation changes in scotland.

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Why you should expect to pay more tourist taxes – even though the evidence for them is unclear

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Senior Lecturer in Economics, Bangor University

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Disclosure statement

Rhys ap Gwilym has received funding from Welsh Government to conduct research relating to various devolved taxes, including the proposed visitor levy.

Linda Osti has received funding from Welsh Government to conduct research relating to the proposed visitor levy.

Bangor University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

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In April 2024, Venice began its controversial experiment to charge day trippers €5 (£4.30) to visit the city on some of the busiest days of the year. But it’s not just the lagoon city, with its 30 million visitors a year which is interested in trying out new tourism taxes.

In the UK, a council in the county of Kent has recommended introducing a tourism tax on overnight stays in the county. In Scotland, it seems likely that visitors to Edinburgh will be paying a fee by 2026, and the Welsh government plans to introduce similar legislation later this year.

Such taxes may seem new to the UK, but there are more than 60 destinations around the world where this type of tax is already in place. These vary from a nationwide tax in Iceland to various towns across the US. Some have been in place for a long time (France was the first in 1910 ), but most were introduced during the last decade or two.

Before the pandemic really struck (and tourism was put on hold), 2020 was described by one newspaper as the “year of the tourist tax” , as Amsterdam joined an ever-growing list of destinations, which includes Paris, Malta and Cancun, to charge visitors for simply visiting.

Introducing these tourist taxes has often been controversial, with industry bodies voicing concerns about the potential impacts on the tourist trade.

And it appears that the link between such levies and visitor numbers is not simple, with several studies reaching different conclusions. For example, some have suggested that tourism levies have hindered international tourism in the Balearics and the Maldives , and that they may dissuade people from participating in domestic tourism .

Yet in one of the world’s most popular tourism spots with a levy, Barcelona, visitor numbers have consistently risen , with hotel guests increasing from 7.1 million in 2013 to 9.5 million in 2019.

In fact, the relationship between a visitor levy and tourist flow is so complex that there is no unified view, even within the same country. Italy has been one of the most studied, and results are inconsistent there too .

Another study, looking at three neighbouring Italian seaside spots finds that only in one destination has the visitor levy reduced tourist flow . And a study on the Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Padua shows that these cities have not experienced any negative effects either in terms of domestic or international demand.

So the impact of tourism taxes on visitor numbers is inconclusive.

But what about other effects, such as the potential benefits of spending the revenues raised? As part of an ongoing research project, we looked at seven different destinations in which tourist taxes are levied to look at how the money raised is then spent.

For most places, tourism tax revenues were being used to fund marketing and branding – so invested directly into promoting more tourism. The income was also commonly used to fund tourism infrastructure, from public toilets and walking or cycling paths to a multi-billion dollar convention centre in Orange County, Florida.

In the Balearics , revenues tend to go to projects that mitigate the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, culture and society of the islands. These include waste management, conserving natural habitats and historical monuments, and social housing.

But in general, tourism taxes have been implemented successfully across the destinations we looked at, and there is little evidence of tourists being put off from visiting.

Research also suggests that when tourists are told what the levy is used for – and when it relates directly to improving their experience or enhancing sustainable tourism – tourists are willing to accept and pay the levy.

Day trippers

For many tourism destinations, the major problem is not overnight tourists, but rather day visitors who use local resources while making little in the way of a financial contribution. For these reasons, taxes might also be used to deter day visits and instead encourage longer stays.

Venice is at the forefront of this shift. And in April 2024, after long discussions between the local authority, residents and business owners, Venice started a trial of a day visitor tax (a so-called “access fee” ).

A €5 note with Venice scene background.

Read more: An entry fee may not be enough to save Venice from 20 million tourists

Back in Kent, it may take longer for any such radical plans to come to fruition. In contrast to Scotland and Wales, there are currently no national plans to introduce tourist taxes in England.

This might be considered shortsighted, given the dire need of many destinations in England to improve local infrastructure that tourists rely on, including clean bathing water and public transport . In Manchester and Liverpool , businesses have implemented voluntary overnight charges on visitors, in the absence of the statutory basis to implement compulsory levies.

Many other English towns and cities will probably follow their lead. Tourism taxes are something we might all have to consider budgeting for in our future travel plans, wherever we choose to visit.

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Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill

The Bill aims to allow a visitor levy, a type of fee or tax, to be charged on overnight stays in some types of accommodation. Section 4 of the Bill explains what types of accommodation these could be. This means that a certain amount of money would be paid to the local authority every time someone stayed overnight in accommodation like a hotel, bed and breakfast or holiday cottage (unless it is the place where the person usually lives). Each local authority would be able to decide if it wanted to introduce a charge and what the level of the charge should be. 

Read the rest of the Bill's overview

The Bill is at Stage 3

About the Bill

Read the Bill and information which explains what it does, why it was introduced, and how much it will cost.

Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill and gather views. They produce reports before MSPs debate the Bill in the Chamber. MSPs then decide on the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

Stage 2 - Changes to detail

MSPs can propose changes (“amendments”) to the Bill. The amendments are considered and decided on by a committee.

Stage 3 - Final changes and vote

MSPs can propose further “amendments” (changes) to the Bill. MSPs decide on each of these. Finally, they debate and vote on whether to pass the Bill.

Committees involved in this bill

Local government, housing and planning committee.

Learn more about what this committee's work on this bill

Finance and Public Administration Committee

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Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

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The Highland Council

Tourism levy consultation

Highland visitor levy.

Highland welcomes over 6 million visitors a year, including day visitors and cruise passengers. All visitors are welcome, but we need to manage the effects these large numbers are having on our services, resources and infrastructure.

Highland Transient Visitor Levy (TVL)

On 9 December 2019, we approved the findings of a public consultation supporting the introduction of a TVL and committed to further work to develop the best scheme for Highland.

A Transient Visitor Levy – also known as a ‘Tourist Tax’ or ‘Visitor Levy’  is an additional contribution charged to people visiting a country or region as short-term visitors.

The Scottish Government will introduce legislation by 2021 to allow local authorities to introduce a levy, if they choose to.

It is estimated that this could generate £5 – £10 million each year, depending on how a scheme was designed.

The consultation

Between June and October 2019, we consulted more than 6,600 Highland residents, businesses and visitors to the region on whether a TVL scheme should be used in Highland and how it might be designed. The results include:

  • Pre-consultation with the tourism industry (40+ contributors) 
  • Online survey results (5,622 responses)
  • Face-to-face visitor survey results (950 interviews)
  • Written submission summaries (28 submissions)

View reports

Based on this strong evidence, Members of Highland Council have committed to further pursue a Highland Visitor Levy.

What happens next

Continued work on design and implementation

During 2020 we will continue work to consider how a TVL scheme might be designed and implemented to reflect the consultation findings and to lessen potential negative impacts. This includes progressing key design principles approved by Full Council on 9 December 2019:

  • A Highland TVL should be able to be applied in ways other than just a ‘bed tax’ on those staying in paid overnight accommodation
  • Highland residents should be exempted from paying a Highland TVL
  • Revenue should be ring-fenced to ‘tourism uses’, with continued work to determine what constitutes ‘tourism uses’ and how these are defined for Highland
  • Options be explored for how some TVL revenue might be ring-fenced for use in the area of Highland in which it is raised

Our response to the Scottish Government

We will continue to work with the Scottish Government  to make sure our region’s needs and the results of the Highland consultation are considered.

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Summer has arrived — at least for San Diego’s tourist destinations

Local leaders — and a few mascots —  at the Natural History Museum to launch San Diego's tourism season.

As San Diego prepares for a busy tourist season, it will also be celebrating this year some important anniversaries for SeaWorld, Legoland and Comic-Con

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According to the calendar, the official start of summer is still weeks away, but that didn’t stop local San Diego leaders from celebrating the arrival of the tourist season Tuesday with the help of some familiar mascots, rollerbladers and a shower of colorful streamers.

The coming Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer tourist season, a crucial time of year for the local economy as visitors frequent hotels, theme parks, beaches and restaurants, pumping hundreds of millions of tax dollars into government coffers. The local tourism industry is hoping to top last year’s 31.8 million visitors, which is still short of pre-pandemic numbers, although the $14.3 billion they spent set a new record.

In all, the local $22 billion tourism industry last year brought in $1 billion in sales, property and other tax revenue countywide, including $418 million in room taxes levied on overnight hotel stays.

“Tourism is essential to powering our local economy,” said Mayor Todd Gloria, who joined tourism leaders at Balboa Park to commemorate the season’s start. “Over the past year, tourism generated approximately $1 billion in tax revenues across the county. We put these revenues to work at the city of San Diego to help fund essential services and pay for public infrastructure that directly benefits local residents and businesses.”

This year happens to coincide with some major anniversary milestones in San Diego — the 20th for Petco Park and U.S.S. Midway Museum, 25th for Legoland, 35th for the San Diego Convention Center, 55th for Comic-Con International, 60th for SeaWorld San Diego, and 150th for the San Diego Museum of Natural History.

Beyond the 10.5 percent transient occupancy tax that helps fund local services, there is an additional 2 percent surcharge that goes directly toward marketing San Diego as a tourist destination.

The hotelier-run Tourism Marketing District, which oversees the spending of the 2 percent levy, expects to collect $47.3 million in the coming fiscal year. Much of that will go toward funding the San Diego Tourism Authority, which in turn will spend heavily in the coming year on advertising.

Some $28 million has been allocated for a leisure market advertising campaign that will include an expanded focus on more distant markets, like Chicago and New York.

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visitor tourism levy

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May 5, 2024

At the Top of the Golden Gate Bridge, Governor Newsom Announces Tourism Spending Hit an All-Time High in California

California remains the #1 state for tourism

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW : New data released today shows that California continues to have the largest market share of tourism in the nation, with travel spending in the state reaching an all-time record high of $150.4 billion last year.

SAN FRANCISCO – Governor Gavin Newsom and Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta today announced that travel spending in the state reached an all-time high of $150.4 billion last year, surpassing the record $144.9 billion spent in 2019. This comes after the state retained its title as the world’s 5th largest economy and had a population increase , both of which are directly tied to California’s nation-leading tourism and entertainment industries.

VIDEO: Gov. Newsom makes announcement at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge

From our world-renowned coastline, to the world’s tallest trees, to our iconic cities and theme parks, California is the nation’s coming attraction. Visitors from all over the world are coming here to experience the wonder of the Golden State, boosting our economy and creating good-paying jobs for years to come.

Governor Gavin Newsom

BY THE NUMBERS : The Economic Impact of Travel in California, prepared by Dean Runyan Associates and released by Visit California, detailed spending that is 3.8% higher than 2019 and 5.6% higher than 2022. Spending exceeded 2019 levels in a majority of counties.

WHAT VISIT CALIFORNIA CEO BETETA SAID : “California tourism is back where it belongs – setting records and providing for the workers, business owners and all Californians who depend on the travel industry as a cornerstone of our state’s economy. The industry has once again proved its ability to recover from any challenge, whether it be economic or environmental. California continues to be the largest, most diverse and most resilient tourism economy in the United States.”

visitor tourism levy

WHAT THIS MEANS : California has the largest market share of tourism in the nation. The new travel-spending record generated $12.7 billion in state and local tax revenue by visitors in 2023, marking a 3% increase over 2019. Tourism created 64,900 new jobs in 2023, bringing total industry employment to 1,155,000.

California remains the 5th largest economy in the world for the seventh consecutive year, with a nominal GDP of nearly $3.9 trillion in 2023 and a growth rate of 6.1% since the year prior, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. California’s per capita GDP is the second largest among large economies.

In addition to visiting the state, more people are moving to California. Earlier this week, Governor Newsom announced the state’s population is increasing for the first time since the pandemic.

The Golden State, which has the most equitable tax system in the entire country , is #1 in the nation for new business starts , #1 for access to venture capital funding , and the #1 state for tourism spending , manufacturing , high-tech , and agriculture .

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Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

visitor tourism levy

Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

visitor tourism levy

To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

visitor tourism levy

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

visitor tourism levy

Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

visitor tourism levy

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

visitor tourism levy

At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

visitor tourism levy

The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

visitor tourism levy

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IMAGES

  1. Visitors Reminded Of Environmental And Tourism Levy

    visitor tourism levy

  2. How to complete the Tourism Levy Return

    visitor tourism levy

  3. Understanding variable tourism levy

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  4. Visitor Levy

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  5. FAQs

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  6. International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

    visitor tourism levy

COMMENTS

  1. A visitor levy for Wales

    These are integral elements to a visitor's experience. A commonly implemented version of a visitor levy is a levy on overnight stays in tourism accommodation. There is variation in the design, rates, and application of a tourism levy internationally. In international models the levy ranges from £0.50 to £5.00 per night.

  2. Bali Tourist Tax

    Bali Tourist Tax / Bali Tourist Levy. The Tourist Tax for international visitors to Bali is a tax charged by Bali's provincial government. This is all you need to know to get ready to come to Bali. Make sure you are only using the links mentioned tha guide you to the official website of the Bali government.

  3. A local tourism levy for Wales: your questions answered

    In 2019, the Scottish Government consulted on the principles of a "transient visitor levy" in response to tourism pressure in certain areas in Scotland. The proposal was put on hold in March 2020 and plans haven't yet resumed. Regarded as a UK first, a tourism-related charge was implemented at the local level in 2014. ...

  4. Wales may impose 'visitor levy' on overnight guests

    Tue 20 Sep 2022 09.28 EDT. First published on Tue 20 Sep 2022 08.12 EDT. Everyone who overnights in Wales, whether it be in a luxury hotel, a cosy holiday cottage or the most basic campsite, may ...

  5. Welsh Government launches public consultation on 'tourism tax' plans

    The Welsh Government has launched a public consultation today, September 20, on proposals to give local authorities the powers to introduce a 'tourism tax' visitor levy. The levy would be a small charge paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales. "These proposals are about preparing for the future.

  6. Over 60 places around the world charge tourist taxes

    Yet in one of the world's most popular tourism spots with a levy, Barcelona, visitor numbers have consistently risen, with hotel guests increasing from 7.1 million in 2013 to 9.5 million in 2019.

  7. Local visitor levy

    We are proposing to give councils powers to introduce a visitor levy, sometimes known as a 'tourism tax'. This will generate funds to invest in local facilities and services, helping to attract more visitors. The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023. If passed, the legislation will give local ...

  8. Paying the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL

    Search for a visa by name. Many tourists, people on working holidays, and some students and workers coming to New Zealand must pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of NZD $35.

  9. Visitor levy legislation introduced

    If passed by the Scottish Parliament, the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill will give councils the power to apply a levy on stays in overnight accommodation based on a percentage of the accommodation cost. All money raised would have to be reinvested locally on facilities and services substantially for or used by visitors, enhancing the tourist ...

  10. International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

    Since 1 July 2019, most international visitors to New Zealand are charged the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) of $35. The IVL is invested in projects that will help to create productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth that supports and protects our environment and enriches New Zealanders' lives.

  11. The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or

    Director-General Education and Justice. ISBN. 9781839606502. This report presents findings from the Scottish Government's consultation on the Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax. The consultation ran from 9 September to 2 December 2019. Supporting documents.

  12. International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy Review 2024

    Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey has announced the launch of public consultation process on the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). Submissions are open until 5 pm 11 June 2024. Led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and DOC, the government is seeking feedback on: whether to increase ...

  13. Visitor levy legislation introduced

    Tourism is a force for good and our destinations play an important role in regional economic growth. If passed, a visitor levy could offer an opportunity to develop local investment proposals which could benefit our economy and our communities.

  14. Why you should expect to pay more tourist taxes

    Yet in one of the world's most popular tourism spots with a levy, Barcelona, visitor numbers have consistently risen, with hotel guests increasing from 7.1 million in 2013 to 9.5 million in 2019.

  15. Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill

    Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill. The Bill aims to allow a visitor levy, a type of fee or tax, to be charged on overnight stays in some types of accommodation. Section 4 of the Bill explains what types of accommodation these could be. This means that a certain amount of money would be paid to the local authority every time someone stayed overnight ...

  16. Highland visitor levy

    A Transient Visitor Levy - also known as a 'Tourist Tax' or 'Visitor Levy' is an additional contribution charged to people visiting a country or region as short-term visitors. The Scottish Government will introduce legislation by 2021 to allow local authorities to introduce a levy, if they choose to. It is estimated that this could ...

  17. PDF INTRODUCTION

    the power to introduce a tourist levy/tax. The Local Visitor Levy Bill is expected to come before the Scottish Parliament in spring 2023 and will start to be charged from as early as 2026. The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has been vocal over the years about its opposition to plans for a tax on tourists, as we want Scotland to be as

  18. Ohio tourism brought in $56B in visitor spending in 2023

    According to Governor Mike DeWine, tourism in 2023 surpassed $56B in spending, surpassing pre-pandemic levels of $48B in 2019. More than 436,000 tourism jobs are also now in Ohio, also an increase ...

  19. Elektrostal

    Elektrostal is linked by Elektrichka suburban electric trains to Moscow's Kursky Rail Terminal with a travel time of 1 hour and 20 minutes. Long distance buses link Elektrostal to Noginsk, Moscow and other nearby towns. Local public transport includes buses. Sports

  20. THE BEST Things to Do in Monino

    Things to Do in Monino, Russia: See Tripadvisor's 294 traveler reviews and photos of Monino tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in September. We have reviews of the best places to see in Monino. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions.

  21. Summer has arrived

    The local tourism industry is hoping to top last year's 31.8 million visitors, which is still short of pre-pandemic numbers, although the $14.3 billion they spent set a new record.

  22. At the Top of the Golden Gate Bridge, Governor Newsom Announces Tourism

    California remains the #1 state for tourism. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: New data released today shows that California continues to have the largest market share of tourism in the nation, with travel spending in the state reaching an all-time record high of $150.4 billion last year.. SAN FRANCISCO - Governor Gavin Newsom and Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta today announced that travel ...

  23. Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

    Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar ...

  24. Elektrostal, Russia: All You Must Know Before You Go (2024

    A mix of the charming, modern, and tried and true. See all. Apelsin Hotel. 43. from $48/night. Apart Hotel Yantar. 2. from $28/night. Elektrostal Hotel.