As the Welsh Government considers plans to introduce a nationwide tourist tax, two MPs have warned the move would “devastate Wales’ tourism sector.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a formal consultation will begin this August, prompting both tourism leaders and politicians to oppose the move.
“The tax would devastate Wales’ tourism sector by hammering jobs and businesses,” said shadow minister for finance Peter Fox. “Welsh Government ministers need to understand that the fallout isn’t worth the risk.”
“We urgently need to help businesses, not grind them into the ground.”
Shadow minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Tom Giffard, added the levy is “utterly illogical, given it would undoubtedly create a black hole underneath our economy.”
“Welsh Government ministers need to understand that jobs and businesses would collapse under this tax, and, once they have disappeared, they will not come back.”
The proposed tourist tax is designed to boost local authority funding and help towns reliant on tourism recover from the pandemic, with minister for finance Rebecca Evans asserting that “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.”