Bath councillors plan tourist tax

Bath could become the first city in the UK to introduce a tourist tax, following the example of popular European destinations such as Paris, Rome and Venice.

Bath and North East Somerset Council hopes to introduce a ‘local tourism levy’ to help ease the pressure on the Georgian spa city.

In its Operational Plan for 2018-2019, the council said: “Visitors are important to our economy, but they also impact upon council resources and services, with around 5.8 million visitors every year.

“If a Local Tourism Levy was introduced, it would help.

“For example, a £1 nightly surcharge per room would not affect tourism, but would bring in around £2.4 million each year to be reinvested into the local area to help maintain over 5,000 listed assets and support the public realm, arts and culture.”

However, reports suggest that local hoteliers are concerned that a levy could deter staying visitors and might be difficult to administer.

News of the possible levy follows a plan by the city of Birmingham to charge a tourist tax to help pay for the Commonwealth Games, when it comes to the city in 2022.

Photo credit: Bath and North East Somerset Council.