Welsh government drops plans for tourism tax

Leading hoteliers in Wales have welcomed the rejection of proposals for a Wales-wide tourism tax.

The Welsh hospitality trade feared the tax could make the industry uncompetitive and add hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to tourist bills.

British Hospitality Association (BHA) Cymru has been running a lobbying campaign, urging ministers and Assembly Members to drop the tourism tax plans.

Now, Welsh government officials have rejected the tourism tax plans in favour of a vacant land tax.

David Chapman, executive director of BHA Cymru, said: “The industry’s broad message was ‘don’t top up taxes, chop taxes’ and it was listened to by Welsh government.

“It saw the need to help our iconic community businesses, already facing a ‘cauldron of costs’, to boost employment and growth in key rural, coastal and urban locations in Wales.

“The same arguments clearly stand for any further policy discussions, local or national, that may take place on the subject.

“The Welsh government has a very good record of working with BHA in partnership in recent years to support the hospitality industry in Wales, showing an increased understanding of the huge economic significance of the industry here and the need to grow it further and not restrict it. We’ll continue to make our case as strongly as we can for our members.

“We also now urge all Assembly Members to sign up to the BHA’s Cut Tourism VAT campaign.

“We want their help to pressure Westminster to cut tourism VAT from 20% to single figures to match levels in other European countries and significantly boost the economic performance of the industry, creating and sustaining more local jobs, visitor numbers and enabling local people to enjoy more meals out.”