Levy looks likely

Businesses dismayed after Highland Council backs tourist tax

North Coast 500

Businesses fear a tax will deter visitors to the Highlands

Visitors to the north of Scotland are likely to be charged a tourist tax after Highland Council voted to press ahead with the plan.

Business leaders reacted with “bitter disappointment” to the decision to draw up plans for a so-called “transient visitor levy” once final details have been agreed.

The move was backed  by 44 votes to four, with seven abstentions as councillors insisted revenue must be earmarked for roads, public toilets and other environmental improvements, as well as maintenance that directly supports the industry.

It will be closely watched by other areas, including Edinburgh, which are considering a similar tax.

Businesses were dismayed at the decision, fearing it will drive tourists away.

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