Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Council to consult on tourism transient visitor levy

13th December 2018

The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year.

During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.

At a meeting of The Highland Council held today (13 December) in Inverness, Members agreed that in addition to the Council submitting its response to the Local Governance Review on tourism taxes - being carried out by the Scottish Government and Cosla - the Council will highlight that it is to carry out its own consultation on the issue of a tourism levy.

Councillors agreed that the public consultation in Highland will be managed and delivered ‘in-house' and that a Council officer group will work with the Council’s Tourism Working Group to implement the project. Where necessary, an independent facilitator will be engaged to ensure that an impartial response is secured during engagement with stakeholders.

The proposed consultation will commence in early 2019 and be completed in the spring.

Cllr Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said: "While the Council will be responding to the national consultation it is important that we add to this debate by gathering information that is specific to Highland. To do so, we need to engage with as wide an audience as possible to help decide what and where is unique and special about Highland tourism so that we can make the case for Highland at a national level."

Convener Bill Lobban said: "We are already hearing in our engagement with the public that people are interested in new opportunities to make the most of tourism economy in the Highlands. A local consultation will help us to gauge the level of support for a tourist levy here, which could provide the means for improving our infrastructure and protecting and enhancing our environment."

Cllr Maxine Smith, Leader of the Opposition added: “I have been lobbying for this for several years now. I sincerely believe there is a way to raise money that will benefit both local Council services, that are affected by so many tourists, such as potholes, toilets etc., but that will also benefit the tourism sector.

“Anything we make better in the Highlands will be good for all, not just tourists, but if you are visiting an area and it cannot provide you with quality ancillary products, such as sufficient layby’s, toilets, parking sites, waste services then you are less likely to return. If people visit us here and have a first class time, they will tell others and also return another year.

“The industry should not be worried, they are not being asked to pay anything extra, it is only a few £’s from their patrons, which is commonplace in Europe and works well. We could reach a situation in 5-10 years where we have spare monies, which can be set aside specifically for a ”tourism fund” that hoteliers and others could bid into, if they had a good idea. This consultation is about finding out not just what the industry wants, but what our local Highlanders want.

“We all know funding has been cut so we must be pro-active in looking at raising our own funds. The Highlands has a massive tourist industry and this is not going to change simply because some of them are asked to pay a few more £’s each day for their visit.”

The Council will promote in the New Year how and where people can take part in the Council’s transient visitor levy consultation through news releases, the Council’s website and social media and the Council will be in direct contact with industry groups and community councils among other groups.”

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

27/2/2020
Highland Council Announces Biggest Ever Single Investment In RoadsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Announces Biggest Ever Single Investment In Roads
Highland Council today announced its biggest ever single investment in roads with an extra £20million capital announced in its budget proposals for the year 2020/21.   The budget proposals were announced by Budget Leader Alister MacKinnon at a press conference at Highland Council headquarters.  
27/2/2020
Community Council elections nominations closed
Following the close of nominations at 12 noon on Wednesday 26 February 2020, the outcome is as follows.   2 Community Councils received more nominations than their maximum membership, which means that postal ballots will now be held for Rogart Community Council and Strathnairn Community Council.  
26/2/2020
Additional Support Needs (ASN) Interim Update
An interim update on the development of a new model to assess needs and allocate resource for Additional Support Needs will be reported to the Council's Education Committee on Thursday.   The work being carried out is to ensure the Council has a delivery model in place which is agile and flexible to meeting the needs of young people and provides stability for staff.  
19/2/2020
Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate CommunitiesThumbnail for article : Scottish Government Budget In Current Form Will Devastate Communities
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has warned that the Scottish Government's Budget will hit vulnerable communities the hardest.   COSLA has warned the Government that it has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put council services at risk.  
18/2/2020
Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick RefusedThumbnail for article : Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick Refused
Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019.   The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast - https://highland.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/469655 There is a 14 Day period for appeal.  
18/2/2020
Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link OptionsThumbnail for article : Study Into Corran Narrows Fixed Link Options
A study is underway into the feasibility of replacing Scotland's second busiest ferry service with a fixed link bridge or tunnel.   The Highland Council, HITRANS and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are joint funding the study at the Corran Narrows in Lochaber.  
18/2/2020
Trades Services Framework Standstill Period Extended In Highland Council Area
The standstill period under the Council's Trades Services Framework agreement was due to close with effect from Monday 17th February 2020, with the intention of a proposed go live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February.   The standstill period is a defined period of time between the notice of the contract award decision and the award of the contract.  
15/2/2020
Spaceport Planning ApplicationThumbnail for article : Spaceport Planning Application
On 14th February 2020 the Highland council place an advert in the Northern times newspaper regarding the Spaceport planning application as follows.  - THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (SCOTLAND) ACT 1997 TOWN and COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (SCOTLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.  
13/2/2020
Highland councillors approve small rise in council home rents
Members today approved a modest 3% rent increase for residential rents and service charges following detailed consultation with tenants.   The increase will result in a rise in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.74 (£2.26), which means that Highland rents are still 8th lowest of the 26 councils which retain housing.  
12/2/2020
Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges
Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer's first annual report highlights successes and challenges.` Highland Council's new Chief Social Work Officer for Highland Council, Karen Ralston, has enjoyed a successful first year in her role.   Members today noted the 2018/19 annual report at the meeting of the Health, Wellbeing and Social Care committee.  

[Printer Friendly Version]