About proposals for a visitor levy

A Visitor Levy for Edinburgh

Scotland's plan to introduce a levy

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament in May 2024. The legislation allows councils in Scotland to tax overnight accommodation if they wish to do so.

The Bill sets out some requirements for the levy, which include:

  • The levy must be a percentage of the cost of an overnight stay in some types of overnight accommodation
  • Before a levy can be introduced, the local authority must consult with local communities, businesses and tourist organisations
  • Revenue generated by the levy must be used to develop, support or sustain local facilities and services substantially used by business and leisure visitors.

Deciding to have a visitor levy in Edinburgh

We are planning to introduce a visitor levy in Edinburgh, pending public consultation and elected member approval. The earliest that we could introduce a levy is mid-2026, based on the mandatory 18-month implementation period set out in the Bill. This implementation period can only start after public consultation has been completed.

Ahead of the Bill being passed, we are exploring options regarding:

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

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

Scottish Government information

Progress update and draft proposals report

Report to Policy and Sustainability Committee 22 August 2023.