Money raised should be spent on services used by tourists.

Money raised should be spent on services used by tourists.

The Bill says that the money collected from the Visitor Levy should only be used to develop, support, or sustain services that are substantially for people who visit the area for leisure. This could cover things like improving transport links to an area that is popular with tourists or creating a visitor centre. It could also include paying to promote the area as a tourist destination. If you agree with this proposal, rate it up (👍), if you disagree, rate it down (👎). Please tell us why you agree or disagree using the comment boxes below. What do you think the money raised should be spent on and why?

Points

The money raised should be spent on services used for and by tourists and locals AND on managing any negative impacts that tourists have on the local area.

This seems a short sighted view to focus on services for tourists only. It's an opportunity to use it to mitigate negative effects of large amounts of tourism in certain areas - e.g. litter, wear and tear on roads, shortage of affordable housing. The short term let legislation has been used as a solution of the affordable housing problem but was poorly thought through and is being poorly implemented at the expense of the accommodation sector. It would be helpful to think a bit more broadly about the issues faced in tourist areas and how this money can help mitigate some of the issues and encourage a positive experience and environment for tourists and locals alike.

I would like to see published, for the public to consider, the expert analysis of benefit versus cost

The money should be freely available to use for improving facilities to benefit local communities and tourists alike. Things like public toilets, roads (thinking of NC500 traffic) as well as things that help communities mitigate the impact of tourism in their area.

The greatest impact of tourists is on the people who live their, so services that locals use should be the priority, such as public toilets, street cleaning, clearing up rubbish around bins DAILY. More buses on tourist routes would help locals too.

Government should mandate what the money can be spent on so that it has a strict parameter. Councils should have autonomy within that mandate. improvements should benefit those who visit and those who live in the area.

This is a very grey area and I’d imagine it will be very tricky for local authorities to justify whether or not any monies raised as a result of the levy meets this criteria when so much infrastructure supports both locals and visitors. Whilst many may welcome the additional income the levy might provide them, I’m guessing they won’t welcome the additional bureaucracy involved in demonstrating how the money is being spent.

Transport links in Scotland ? You having a laugh? Never happen ...look at the A9. takes years.. The Council as a marketing agency? Having a laugh again! Where do we get to? Each Scottish Council starts wasting copius amounts of money 'out advertising' the other? What a waste! Haven't we got visitor centres? Hardly visionary! This additional money will be snaffled away to pay staff pensions that are spiralling out of control.

again, only urban areas will see the benefit of this tax. If they wanted to improve the roads infrastructure then use the road tax. This shouldn't just be used for visitors, the local residents should see any benefit from the tax by the upkeep of their home resources if it came to it! Rural areas just don't fit into this scheme - a lot of local communities in the highlands have taken action themselves in volunteer efforts after repeatedly being ignored by councils who cannot even answer phones now since covid.

Its impossible to target spending on services substantially to be used by tourists for leisure, all our services are used by locals and visitors alike. It also would be morally indefensible to collect a tax from all overnight visitors, many of whom are visiting for work or to visit family whilst the greatest negative impact on our local facilities is from cruise liner passengers and campervan users.

Idealistic nonsense. It will be used for road repairs because tourists use those ....Bin collections...pension funds. It's another tax on small business. Our guests already contribute by visiting and paying for goods and services in the area. After costs we earn about 12k. Tax, agent fees, bank charges and running costs...now this.

Councils should be free to utilise funds in a looser way - enabling both tourists and local communities to benefit. My view is that funds should be spent on improving areas - transport, spaces, events, opportunities for tourism/locals and this should be laid out explicitly ie no day to day spend on salaries, schools etc but in projects that benefit the area for tourists/tourism and the local population. Using levy funds on promotion should be extremely limited if used at all!

I disagree with the tax wholeheartedly. If it is introduced (which it will be regardless of the sham consultation process) the money raised absolutely will not be used for service improvements. No meaningful improvement will ever be made visible from the funds. They will service council debt. Same as the violatingly high levels of Scottish income tax. Pay massive amounts more, with threats to increase it further, and get nothing back for it.

The money is being directly charged to the tourist who has cost as a deciding factor on where they choose to go. We must do all we can to encourage them to choose to visit Scotland. We should act to gain more income through increased visitor numbers, not increased charges which have a deterrent effect. It must be remembered too that income from tourism can be very seasonal, meaning very lean periods for many businesses. Greater numbers wanting to visit may extend the tourist season. Don't add to the cost of visiting Scotland.

If this goes ahead, and I'm not personally in favour, then monies should go into the grass roots destination management organisations to improve visitor management. Let's not waste it on something that the local authority considers important - the DMOs have a far greater knowledge of their local area

Not all areas affected by tourists are in Edinburgh, many are rural and money raised could support local people who live in these areas all year, not just in tourist season. Spending on tourist facilities only may increase tourism to further detriment of many locals not in the 'industry'.

The majority of levy should benefit levy payers directly, however LA’s should also have the flexibility to support community investment to help improve the environment for residents and businesses impacted by visitors.

The money should be spent on the community NOT the visitors! We are the ones suffering not them!

The bill has no safeguards that the Tourist Tax will be used soley for marketing and visiotor experiences. Busines Rates and Council Tax are already the method for raising funds for general local authority expenditure. The Tourist Tax funds should be controlled by a body which includes the industry and not just be at the discretion of the local authority.

The money raised should be used to mitigate the damage done by tourism (e.g. cleaning up litter), or to provide facilities useful to both residents and locals e.g. public toilets.

I oppose the levy. But, if it comes into being, local services for residents should be improved OR brought back to the standard they used to be.

Money raised should be spent locally to improve and maintain services for all, not just tourists. Those of us that live in tourist hotspots, such as the NC500, have to tolerate a deluge of visitors and their vehicles. We should get something back to compensate for our tolerance.

It's a beguiling idea, using the monies raised from a levy for visitors' benefit, but most of the things visitors require are what the settled population also need - good public transport, open public loos, town-centre parking. They should be provided by local councils anyway, in return for all the council tax we pay. As for visitor centres, they're nearly as hard to find as unicorns these days, the idea being that 'we've all gone on-line'

for example the cost of cleaning up after mass tourism events (hogmanay and festival) comes from tourists

Tourism has an impact on local communities and their infrastructure, not just tourist amenities.

I feel the money should be used to improve the environment for residents AND tourists alike, not just tourists

THIS IS WHY VISITORS COME HERE - TO EXPERIENCE THE OUTDOORS ETC

People visit destinations for many reasons such as business trips, visiting family or attending events such as conferences, concerts or exhibitions. Only considering leisure visitors who actually spend less in our economy, and often have more impact on residents feels shortsighted

if it is to be a "visitor levy" it must be seen to benefit visitors. However, much of what's required will ineveitably also benefit local residents: maintaining roads, public transport, public toilets, rea=creatiuonal facilities - all are,can be used by visitor and local alike.

Couch it whatever way you wish but it needs to be spent on services which will benefit both visitors and residents.

Yes; but also include on routes such as the NC500, the necessary extra infrastructure to protect these vulnerable environments - provide loos, provide waste disposal, promote road safety and etiquette and improve the state of the roads which are getting an absolute hammering.

I do not agree with the levy and I certainly do not agree that the money will be well spent, it will be wasted I expect on daft ideas and simply put into bigger carparks with even more tax collecting fees and so on. Toilets that will collect more taxes and other daft ideas. Leave it well alone, just a silly way to rip of our visitors who spend millions, get the Treasury in London to send some money back?

I feel that money raised should be used for the local community, residents and visitors alike, as all will benefit.

This scheme will encourage day trippers who will not be adding to the economy at all – camper vans/caravan, campers, cars with tents, the cruise ship passengers who, as the proposed Visitor Levy currently stands, would not be contributing towards the costs of wear and tear before leaving the area. As an overnight accommodation provider I already spend a considerable amount of time managing data collection and to suddenly become an unpaid tax collector for the local authority (or should I call myself a 'liable person'?) simply because its the easiest way to raise money, would be unfair especially at a time when small businesses are already struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis and the huge administrative and cost burden of complying with the short term let licencing legislation. I already have to put my prices up next year to cope with the extra ‘running costs’ - I don’t know if I can also ask guests for a further Visitor Levy charge. It will be hard. Scotland is already expensive enough to travel to with out additional expenses. Introducing a visitor Levy will surely reduce tourist numbers willing to pay the extra - leading to a poor economy.

Improve mainly for local people; improvements for them impact positively on visitors, and can include visitor/tourism infrastructure, eg motorhome facilities so locals don't suffer mess dumped in their countryside

The money should be spent on tourist infrastructure which is appalling in many of Scotland's areas, roads and services. I do however not agree with yet another tax on businesses post pandemic.

It should go towards all services in the area not just things for tourism. It impacts waste, transport, pollution etc. tourism has massive negative impact on locals - we should benefit from this

You're having a laugh... First you propose to charge the accommodation providers and the tourists with this bill, and then you're going to use the stolen money to fund services used by tourists... like, err, Accommodation services? Just drop the bill and save the country money

The money raised should be ringfenced for things that benefit communities and offset the negative impact of visitors - It should not be used for vague council running costs!

Make sure the funds are allocated wisely. Local people should be consulted on how the money should be spent.

The money should be used to ensure affordable and social housing in popular tourist destinations so local people have places to live.

YES

It is a case of provide the infrastructure or suffer the consequences. Public toilets in Ayreshire are closed becaue they are being sold off! Motorhomers and campervanners cannot empty their on-board toilets because of blanket bans on chemical waste disposal at public conveniences when there are now compatible chemicals (green, NOT blue) - perhaps Gov should incentivise the phasing out, or banning, of the incompatible, blue, toilet chemicals?

Taking Luss as an example we have 300 residents and 850,000 visitors per year. We have approximately 200 overnight bed spaces therefore the levy would be tiny. Money should be spent on offsetting the significant negative impact on residents through a distribution direct to local communities for their own projects. In addition, money should be allocated to provide better services in these areas such as transport, policing, toilets and even increased refuse collection. www.bit.ly/luss-arden-LPP for further information on the impact of visitors on local populations.

This is a worrying part of the bill, what is the point of raising a tax if not to benefit public services? It would raise more than enough to distribute the funding accordingly. I would only be in support if this included a scheme for those that are disadvantaged to receive discounted/free trips to tourist spots in Scotland that otherwise they would not be able to visit. Otherwise, use the increased income to benefit other areas of society. The entire support for/against the bill is likely to be placed on how the money is going to be used afterwards, there is so much need in other industries that this tax could help to support.

I think the council should be free to choose how to best spend the money. All councils are stretched financially and ringfencing the additional revenue from this tax will lessen the overall good that it could do in areas with significant tourism. For example in Pitlochry there is a need to refurbish or replace many of the local leisure facilities. These are not typically used by tourists but instead by the permanent population.

there should be no visitor levy

Tourists place additional demands on local services - for example public transport and refuse collection. Why should the benefit of the extra revenue available to councils then only be used to benefit tourists when it is local residents who bear the additional costs that tourists impose on service delivery?

The income should be used for the benefit of all - residents and visitors. Scotland generally has poor public toilet provision - something that everyone requires. Some areas are good, others seem to ignore the issue and assume that visitors (and residents) will use local businesses so they can access toilets. This is not only impossible outside business hours, it is also impractical for groups travelling together (eg on a coach tour). Very often "Publicly accessible toilets" are one single toilet in a town of village's only cafe!

Public toilets, road repairs, signage reminders for road users, waste disposal, new lay-bys, recycling, all need investment and the visitor levy could be used to improve these services.

NC500 is a classic example of visitors using all the facilities that we pay for such as public toilets, bin collections, roads and layby, water etc but the MoHo and Campervans spend very little in the areas. There is a pride amongst them in not paying for anything - frequently voiced on social media. Most people do research on the web before their holiday and Information centres are not as essential as they were in the 80s and 90s. Please look at the facts and figures for how overseas and UK guests travel to and around Scotland. Improving Buses won't make much difference at all.

it does not include improving access to services like accident and emergency, minor injuries, emergency dentists, pharmacy etc etc. The levy should support these services to be able to cater for visitor numbers instead of pushing our local people of appointment slots that are in short supply already.

Money raised in the Highlands should be used to mitigate the effects of overtourism on local communities. Where there is a need for visitor facilities, it can be left to capitalism. It's a commercial opportunity for someone. Money from any levy should be spent on traffic calming in villages, extra police to enforce speed limits, the outdoor access code, and local by-laws. Rangers should be a full-time job and their powers increased. Only where tourist infrastructure benefits locals as well as visitors, like providing waste disposal points for camper vans for example, should levy money be spent on visitors.

again people say potholes that's not what is for. the government has just passed this burden onto the local councils that are struggling and will see this as a quick fix to get cash to fill the holes in there finances (not the potholes hopefully)

• Money should be spent for the greater good, not just tourists • Community Councils and community groups should have some decision-making powers to decide how money is spent. • Frustration over current situation and how present services are not adequate to deal with litter & recycling and the impact of tourism (for example). The ‘eyesore’. Would it be paying for services that are not being provided a should be? • Community should be able to ‘request’ what the money is spent on • Should be for greater good of tourism, not council services. • The local authority should provide an annual report of what is raised and spent at a local level

If the STL licensing has been introduced because of the STL industry's so-called massive impact on. housing, why on earth wouldn't the government force LAs to use funds raised to go to affordable housing projects? It's a joke when Edinburgh Council blame STLs for housing, then sell off council buildings to ApartHotel developers when they could have gifted them to Housing Associations. What did the £3M they got for the city chambers go on?

I agree with this even though I highly disapprove of the tax in principle. Taxes are generally used by governments to discourage certain behaviours eg smoking, alcohol, per trip, sugary drinks are all taxed whereas low tax is used to encourage behaviour such as low emission vehicles. The tax will therefore reduce tourist numbers is highly likely that this so called tourist tax will just be used by the government to plug their shortfall and very unlikely that it will improve tourist facilities.

The money must be spent on tourist facilities in the community in which the tax was raised. The whole idea of the tax is to provide facilities for local visitors, not a slush fund for a neighbouring town. The more visitors to a community , the more need for better local services - toilets, showers, bins, signage, car parks, lifeguards and rangers.

This is the only way that local authorities will have the funds to make infrastructure improvements

I tentatively agree - however I'm nervous about how monies raised will be spent. I don't want to see money collected in Harris spent on cruise ship passengers that arrive in Lewis.

I understand the principle of any funding being generated by a tourism tax being spent on something that is directly related to the source of the tax. However, I think this is a missed opportunity to recognise that tourism is a major source of income for rural areas and that this income is restricted to certain times of the year. I do think more could be done to utilise the income from any tax to provide more direct support and improved local facilities for communities, as it is they who provide many of the services to support tourists. This would not need to be the full amount of the tax, but perhaps a smaller proportion. I recognise the tax could free up funds elsewhere for funding local facilities, however this is an opportunity to further support and enhance local communities and I don’t believe it should be wasted. In spending the funds, it also needs to be thought about why people visit these areas. I frequently visit the north west Highlands because of my love for the scenery, hill walking and the local nature. I wish to see these parts of the Highlands protected. They will clearly be a draw for other tourists, therefore their protection will support continued tourism and income through the tax, whilst also having the benefit of supporting landscape maintenance, ecological enhancements and access to hills (e.g path maintenance on busier routes to avoid erosion).

If this does get implemented then yes the money should be used in the area it is raised,again I don’t see that happening,Inverness will swallow the money raised on the West coast

The roads , public toilets and other services needed by all should be covered by general taxation. Camp sites, hostels, B&Bs are essential businesses to a local economy. And with the growing, severe problems of over-tourism that does not benefit local communities but destroys our infrastructure, environment etc, the very last thing we want is more promotion! The SG needs to completely re-think its tourism policies. Instead of 'fast', drive through, 'go wild in the country and do as you please' tourism, we need slow tourism, based on active travel, staying in a locality, engagement with locals, in fact the exact opposite of this entire destructive, planet and community destroying approach.

Local councils should be able to decide for themselves what the money should be spent on. Tourists use resources that are supposed to be for everyone, wear out the roads and damage the environment, especially around areas like the massively ill-advised and much-abused "NC500" route. Better to spend the money on putting the damage right rather than building more visitor centres and putting up more tourist signs.

Scottish Community Tourism Network held a Zoom meeting to hear views. 14 people attended. 11 people agreed with this point and 3 people disagreed: People said: Breakout 1 • There is a great opportunity for this revenue to make the less glamourous elements of tourism work - waste, toilet facilities, camper van hook ups, parking etc... • There was scepticism about money going to areas that need it the most • Participants struggled to see how money could benefit rural areas where accommodation providers are spread over a large area • It was felt that money would be spent on dealing with bins and roads, thus freeing up funds for local authorities with little sign of additional benefit for tourism sector. • Communities need to have control of funds and decide how the money is spent. By “communities”, participants did not mean councils. • One a very small island, with large number of tourists in summer, one accommodation provider felt that the council does very little on her island, so it would not be appropriate for the council to decide how money is spent. Breakout 2 • How will LAs engage with communities? – very limited time to apply for funding. • Concerns around bidding for funding for Community development – very tight deadlines (9 days) and lack of publicity making it impossible for smaller orgs to • Highland council – huge area – geographical spread – how to allocate limited resources fairly? Concern that smaller communities may miss out. • Councils should be more proactive in promoting/offering funding opportunities to small community orgs etc. • Concerns it could end up like national lottery – initially not supposed to be for things paid for through “normal” taxation and only for charities etc. However, it has gradually become the case that lottery funds pay for “normal” services etc. • Funds should be invested in infrastructure used by tourists and locals. • Some services and facilities (e.g. public toilets) no longer funded by councils and communities have to maintain themselves – concern that these sorts of things wouldn’t be covered as councils see them as doing fine without council investment. Breakout 3 • There was a strong view that funds should be targeted toward mitigating the impact of tourism rather putting more money into tourism.

We need better facilities for tourists and they should pay. The improved facilities can also be used by the locals.

Most of the money should be spent on improving services used by tourists, however some of the money should be spent on improving services for local people as well.

money raised should be used for the benefit of those in the LA area (visitors and residents)

The funds raised should be for the LA to use as it sees fit, and not to be dictated by Scottish Government.

Money raised should be dpent in that area to improve infrastructure, amenities etc. Otherwise it will all go to the central belt!

There must be a foolproof and robust way of checking (accountability) that any money raised IS actually used by the councils (in FULL) for improvements - more public toilets and better maintenance of them. And each public toilet should have a chemical waste disposal facilities (grey and black waste), full rubbish collection facilities (including recycling), more car parking facilities in honey spot areas, better road maintenance, infrastructure improvements (such as was seen when EU was involved) - with first priority to build a bridge or tunnel at Corran.

In favour in principal, as long as locally raised levies are spent in that local area, and as everyone else has said, the things that will benefit tourists will also benefit local people, like better roads, toilets and other facilities. There must be a mechanism for levying the tax on campervans as well.

The money should be used for local amenities for locals not just tourists. Reinstate public toilets and repair the roads for a start.

This is already being done and has been done. There are many tourist points and museums for tourists.

Must benefit both residents and tourists. This means parks, facilities like Botanic Gardens and museums and galleries free for tourists to use. Infrastructure such as clean streets, safe pavements and crossings, and to support public transport all used by tourists as well as locals.

If we have to have this unnecessary tax, let’s at least commit to spending it on dualling the remainder of the A9 and filling in all the pot holes everywhere

Any money spent should be used to improve facilities i.e toilets. Car parking. Use of rangers.increased provision for the less abled. Not for marketing which other bodies undertake

It certainly should not be used to promote the area. The facilities within the area, which both tourists and locals use should be improved: provision and emptying of litter bins, bus shelters, parking and charging for bikes and cars, free toilets, places for camper vans with a reasonable fee plus tourist levy; providing rangers to inform/ educate/ protect fragile environments; tourist offices in cities/ towns to help visitors (and the businesses in the tourist sector)

If the money is used to improve the visitor experience it will in turn improve things for local residents. It should NOT be used for anything other than things which are currently of a poor standard that is it should be used for improving waste removal, availability of good quality public conveniences, well kept public areas.

If it's a Visitor Levy, that's what it should be used for. Anything else would be dishonest.

If a levy is made, preferably on people who can afford it, yes, but should be strongly policed

Yeah the money spent could be reinvested to sustain and improve local services for the tourists and locals. It would be good to have the locals people involved in how it is spent. It might be new Picnic and Parking areas, new toilets, new visitor centres, transport links, bike racks and so on.

See my previous comments about the poor and decreasing availability of public toilets. The Victorians had better facilities.

Not sure more tourism promotion is required, especially for the NC500. Unless it's for slow tourism. The money should be used to make physical improvements, such as maintaining public toilets, providing chemical waste disposal, filling potholes, improving signage, providing seating, etc.

We need to provide for increased visitor numbers with more public toilets, car parks, bins and refuse collections.

The money needs to benefit everyone - those who stay there and those who just visit briefly.

Councils should be able to spend this money on things that will benefit the permanent population of any area, and not just pour funding into matters that are orientated around tourism. The people of Edinburgh have been too accommodating of the ever expanding list of festivals which place here. These increase the pressure on police, health care, public transport, accommodation, bins, etc. I appreciate that tourism brings a lot of money into Edinburgh (although I'm just not convinced that it stays here) but it is the people of Edinburgh who pay for the upkeep of this location year round. For some time now I've had the sneaking suspicion that tourists are treated as a priority over the population of Edinburgh. This Bill, in it's current form, would reinforce this opinion. If you invest in things that benefit the population of Edinburgh - it will be a great place to live year round. The only impact on tourism would be that the city will continue to be a great (if not better) destination.

The money should certainly not be spent on promoting the area. It should be spent on the much needed facilities in the area which would benefit both tourists and locals: improved transport in the area, toilet provision, parking spaces, decent roads, collection of litter, provision of rangers to inform/ protect/ advise in fragile areas, tourist centres to help visitors...

The money should be used to make physical improvements, such as maintaining public toilets, providing chemical waste disposal, filling potholes, improving signage, providing seating, etc. This would benefit both tourists and locals alike...as well as nature and the environment in helping to manage the impact of high visitor numbers in more ecologically fragile and sensitive areas.

The money raised by councils will be used to fill holes in existing budgets e.g. It will allow councils to use this money to repair roads. Council maintained roads should be repaired from existing taxes not a levy on tourists. If the tax is approved by government then strict guidelines must be put in place to target the money raised at facilities to attract tourists.

In most cases the facilites and services used by visitors are also of benefit to the local community so improvements will benefit everyone. BUT I do not agree that the money should be used for tourism marketing

There are no safeguards that Visitor Levy will be used soley for marketing and visitor experiences. Council Tax & business rates are already used for raising funds for local authority expenditure. The Visitor Levy funds should be controlled by a body which includes the industry and not just be at the discretion of the local authority.

If the argument for its introduction is that councils with high visitor numbers have higher infrastructure costs then it makes sense that funds should be used to benefit both locals and visitors alike. Of course I would not want to see the money disappear into general council funds so an element of ring fencing would be sensible.

Please also include motorhomes and campervans.

even if yu are local if you use a walking path that is considered a leisurely activity. So maintaining gardens, paths, attractions benefits visitors and locals alike which is great.

It is the tourism sector that has to collect it so it should be used only and directly on tourist projects

It should be but lets face it it wont. If it is it will be waited on jobs for the boys and exorbitant contractors. As but over time it will help kill tourism so there will be less need for the spend so problem soled.

The levy should benefit local people principally

• Funds should be used as benefit to the whole area, visitors and locals. • This needs to be broader (not just tourists) • Things for tourists and which would benefit the local community • Ensure that the local community has a voice and can say what the money should be spent on • Community councils should have a role/say in spend • Money should be ringfenced

Should be cross cutting – for tourists, business and community Would it be extra ‘additionality’? EG Arran Trust already do this and careful to not fund what is LA responsibility Does this take into account all other stakeholders? EG Visit Scotland – important to have no duplicity

Read The Scotsman. They say this tax income is not protected. Pie in the sky.

Not just on services used by tourists - it needs to include spending on accommodation for staff for tourist services. Additional workers as well as local residents are needed to provide the staff for all these services and currently there is no provision for providing accommodation for them and local affordable housing is like "hens teeth".

Again the concept is sound but the detail and considered thought regarding impact is not evident. Residents and visitors alike would appreciate public amenities, roads, information points etc... being provided at a high standard and consistently throughout our country, however the words used above open the door for the income raised from the levy to be used to fund tourist destination campaigns - something that areas like the Highlands most definitely would not welcome or need! This concept needs some innovative thinking as there is opportunity to rebalance the unequal impact tourism has on rural and urban communities, or even within certain areas of urban centers by funnelling funds from high income/low impact areas to high impact areas. This level of decision making should not be given to local authorities as there is a real risk of finances from the levy being spent on areas with high voter importance rather than where it is genuinely needed to mitigate the impact of tourism.

Raised funds should benefit the community who is welcoming the tourists foremost, which will inevitably benefit visitors. It should be the communities who decide on the spending.

The councils should not be spending the funds, they should go to the local community councils so that if the visitor levy is adopted, will have direct benefits to the local area in which the visitor is staying in - and locals should benefit, not just visitors.

I do not think the levy should benefit tourists only. It should be used to repair and expand infrastructure that is used by tourists and local alike, as all local facilities are affected by tourism. E.g. repair of roads, verges, public toilets, installing waste facilities, etc.

What is good for tourists is more often than not good for local residents and therefore the community. However, it should be community councils or community development trusts that are making decisions on what money collected from their community is spent on. Risk is that larger in area local authorities may collect money centrally and it doesn't get back to where it was collected from.

This is a loaded question. Government subsidised CalMac can’t even manage to run ferries competently. That would be a good place to start. And what about Hugh Streets such as Dunoon’s. They are dying a slow death in front of our eyes. Helping both, for example, would help both locals and tourists.

Funds raised should be spent in local communities to provide services like public toilets, better internet connectivity, etc.

Difficult to see how this would be controlled and determined. In any case, we shouldn't be considering the two groups (visitors and locals) as separate - everybody benefits. But who decides how the money is spent, who ensures that local authorities dont just absorb the funding into roads budgets for example, who decides what is needed? All big questions not adequately answered.

I do not agree with the visitor levy, as the price of holidaying in Scotland is already much higher than elsewhere and it will put visitors off coming to Scotland. As accommodation providers, we already pay business rates (circa £10k per annum for my two small self catering flats in Edinburgh) which should be getting used to pay for additional strain on local services from my guests. (To be realistic I can't see how their wear and tear is any more than if residents were staying in these flats) But if the levy does come in, the income should be ring fenced and invested in the neighbourhood it was earned - it should be invested in infrastructure that benefits tourists, prioritised to those improvements that also benefit the local community. Government should mandate what the money can be spent on. There should be detailed annual reports showing income in each local area and the projects that they have funded. It should not be allowed to go into the general local authority pot as it will be used to cover inefficiencies and budget shortfalls in local authorities (like my business rates already do)

I do not agree with the visitor levy, as the price of holidaying in Scotland is already much higher than elsewhere and it will put visitors off coming to Scotland. As accommodation providers, we already pay business rates (circa £10k per annum for my two small self catering flats in Edinburgh) which should be getting used to pay for additional strain on local services from my guests. (To be realistic I can't see how their wear and tear is any more than if residents were staying in these flats) But if the levy does come in, the income should be ring fenced and invested in the neighbourhood it was earned - it should be invested in infrastructure that benefits tourists, prioritised to those improvements that also benefit the local community. Government should mandate what the money can be spent on. There should be detailed annual reports showing income in each local area and the projects that they have funded. It should not be allowed to go into the general local authority pot as it will be used to cover inefficiencies and budget shortfalls in local authorities (like my business rates already do)

The money raised should be spent on services for the communities that have to put up with the influx of parasitic tourists (since they use the facilities without contributing directly to them). Many members of communities affected by tourism do not rely on them for income so should be compensated for the difficulties caused by tourists by getting decent infraqstructure and services to make their own lives better in another way.

Skye doesn't need more promotion so don't spend money there. Spend money on the things that will improve Skye for the local population AND tourists. We would all benefit from improved roads, transport etc.

So the levy will go on tourist attractions that will be empty because in places like Highland more and more accommodation providers will not exist... this is not joined up!!!! First Brexit, then licensing and now further levies... is the Scot Gov on the same planet????

It is supposed to compensate for all the damage and burden by the tourists in communities not encouraging more services for tourists. I’d like to see the money spent on rangers, litter picking, infrastructure, waste disposal etc

It’s to general , our Facilities for visitors need improvement , so monies raised should be targeted to support infrastructure, including specially toilets and campervan parking. Once basics are covered to community can benefit from surplus to provide other services that support green tourism and protect wildlife from damage.

Infrastructure and roads are used by everyone , if tourist tax can support toilet facilities and fill potholes we may all benefit. The place is popular without promotion , so use the money raised to make it better for all visitors and locals.

We appear as a third world country as our roads are full of pot holes, could some of money be used to improve the roads ensuring transport vehicles have a smoother ride with less repairs to wheels wtc

The levy should be used to improve services and infrastructure for all, not just the tourists.

A good proportion of the money should be used to promote green initiatives and decarbonising the tourist industry.

The levy raised should be used to support tourist facilities. In Edinburgh City Centre for example, the tourist economy supports jobs and revenue to the city. It is recognised that a large number of visitors to any city will have resulting additional costs, which I agree the levy should cover but what should also be recognised is the financial benefit to the area that the thriving shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and visitor attractions that depend on those tourists bring to the area. There should be a balance between the tourist £ and the local economy. So I am in favour of a levy but only if it is "net zero" and any levy achieved can be demonstrably invested in either supporting the tourist business in the local area or those that might have been adversely affected. How many "local" facilities would survive without the tourist £.

Tourist services are commercial businesses and should be run as such.

It has to benefit the tourism offering in that area and be spent on services used by tourists. Infrastructure for a start - like roads and parking facilities. Our toilets are a disgrace and national embarrassment, especially for coach groups. Roads on Skye are crumbling and can’t cope with the volume of traffic. The streets of Edinburgh during the festival are a health hazard and an embarrassment… there are some really obvious and quick wins

1 person in the meeting AGREEs citizens are also using these services the money could be spent to create hot spots of tourism and to try and expand this beyond the immediate city centre the group described an increase in short term lets and more visibility of visitors in Restalrig. Perhaps this could be capitalised on and encouragement of tourists to move to other areas of the city. To take the pressure off the city centre and spread the benefits of spend on infrastructure further afield (added benefit of input to local economy. An example was given of taking the smaller versions of the Xmas market to other communities. How will a community like Restalrig benefit from the funds raised by a levy

9 people in the meeting DISAGREE Money should not just be spent on services for tourist but must also benefit local communities Money should be spent on the city infrastructure Money should not be spent just on tourists/visitors We have very poor infrastructure and public services now; the state of the roads and the pavements is very poor. The group asked how much income is made in Edinburgh local authority from tourism. How can the local authority the impact that such a high level of tourism has on a city such as Edinburgh and how this affects areas which are not in the city centre. How can these areas also benefit and how can the negative effects be mitigated. Who will make the decisions about how the money is spent? How can we have a say. It should not be spent on ‘visitor services’ like buildings and promotions. We have enough tourists already Rubbish in all areas of the city is a disgrace No more money should be spent on trams

But who decides? The Highland Council is dominated by Members from Inverness and the surrounding area. This could mean substantial areas of the Highlands with tourism pressure missing out as all the generated revenue is distributed in and around Inverness and not spending the money in the areas where it might be generated as well such as Skye and on the NC500. Arrangements should be made in the Bill to ensure that the revenue is spent where it is collected at a more local level, rather than the large Local Authority area. The money should also be used to improve the facilities for residents. Tourism pressure can reduce the amenity and facilities for local residents such as parking. The definition is too prescriptive.

The Visitor Levy Bill was discussed at our recent meeting where it was agreed that it should apply to all visitors, including cruise ship passengers, to help to provide infrastructure for everyone, e.g. public toilets throughout Shetland.

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