TVL: "A small price to pay to protect Edinburgh's future and sustain its success"

Council Leader, Adam McVey, comments on Edinburgh's plans for Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) scheme in Edinburgh.

Councillors will meet next week at a meeting of the Full Council to consider the latest proposals,before the case for a TVL is submitted to the Scottish Government.

Council Leader Adam McVey said:

"Our research is the largest consultation undertaken to date on views around a Transient Visitor Levy in Edinburgh and the simple truth is this - the overwhelming majority of respondents are strongly supportive.

More than 2,560 people took part in a survey or public discussion forums as part of the Council’s consultation and 91% of residents, 77% of businesses, 67% of tourist attractions and 51% of accommodation providers backed our proposed scheme.

Some loud voices in the hospitality sector may seek to suggest otherwise, but our results speak for themselves. The hospitality industry had every opportunity to share their views during the two-month consultation - opportunities which were widely promoted in the media, online and specifically through direct communication with industry bodies.

Clearly we need to consider how a TVL would impact tourism, and as a world renowned destination, Edinburgh is well placed. We welcome over four and a half million visitors annually, spending over £1.8bn. Our tourist economy is extremely strong and expected to continue to grow.

In the last six years the number of visitor nights in Edinburgh rose by 18%, while total expenditure from visitors rose by 53% over the same period. Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s hotels have the highest average occupancy rate in the UK at 83.7%.

Let’s be honest, the price of accommodation is not the dominant driver of this success. Tourists consider a destination’s overall appeal, affordability, the overall quality of the tourist experience, events, cultural and other attractions and are accustomed to paying levies all over Europe. Tourists haven’t stopped visiting Paris, Berlin, Barcelona or Florence and they won’t stop visiting Edinburgh.

Without the power to raise a TVL, the city could struggle to continue to develop and invest in tourism into the future. Surely a £2 a night fee, up to a maximum of one week, is a small price for visitors to pay to help us protect Edinburgh’s future and sustain our success?"

Download the proposals on the Council website

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