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New Welsh tourism tax proposed for overnight visitors

Visitors staying overnight in Wales could soon face a new “tourism tax” under plans from the Welsh Government.

A formal consultation on draft legislative proposals for a visitor levy will launch in the autumn, North Wales Live reports.

The proposed levy, which will apply to those paying to stay overnight within a local authority area, will be set by local authorities and will help maintain clean beaches, parks and pavements.

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “Visitor levies are a common feature in tourist destinations internationally.

“They are an opportunity for visitors to make an investment in local infrastructure and services, which in turn make tourism a success.

“Without such a levy, local communities face an undue burden to fund local services and provisions on which tourists rely.

“From keeping the beaches and pavements clean, through to maintaining local parks, toilets and footpaths – the critical infrastructure that supports tourism should be supported by all those that rely on it.”

Wales’ tourism industry was worth more than £5bn annually in 2019.

The Welsh Government says the new tourism tax would raise revenue for local authorities enabling them to manage the services and infrastructure which makes tourism a success.

Cafin Campbell, designated member, said: “Councils will be able to ask tourists to contribute in a small way to the areas they are visiting and the local services they use.

“This is about mutual respect between our communities and the visitors they welcome. It is a new policy which is the fruit of a Welsh co-operative spirit.”

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