Welsh hospitality industry doesn't need 'extra worry' of Visitor Levy

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Welsh Visitor Levy: Welsh hospitality businesses don't need the worry of proposed 'tourism tax' (Credit: Getty/Oleksii Liskonih)
Welsh Visitor Levy: Welsh hospitality businesses don't need the worry of proposed 'tourism tax' (Credit: Getty/Oleksii Liskonih)

Related tags: Legislation, Wales, ukhospitality, Tourism

Cash-strapped hospitality businesses in Wales need "more TLC", not the extra worry of a Visitor Levy on top of rising costs, UKHospitality (UKH) Cymru has warned.

While exact details have not been confirmed, the proposed Visitor Levy, or tourism tax, is expected to be a fee required to be paid by visitors staying overnight in Wales, with individual councils responsible for setting their own rates and terms.

UKH Cymru executive director David Chapman said: “This industry needs more TLC and less taxes.

“After two long years of commercial instability, with enforced closures and restrictions, we are now facing a costs and viability crisis and the last thing we need is even more taxation. 

Wrong tax at the wrong time

“[With] VAT up 7.5 percentage points; National Insurance Contributions up, Business Rates back, food inflation soaring and energy costs through the roof, we are barely able to break even.

“It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time.”

Chapman also stated further taxing the sector would mean passing on more costs to customers, who themselves are ‘feeling the pinch’, and potentially driving them into the arms of competitors.

While the trade body acknowledged a Visitor Levy was common practice in certain parts of Europe, it stated this was not in addition to high rates of VAT, stating some have half the VAT rates imposed in the UK.

This comes ahead of the Senedd Welsh Conservative motion calling for an end to Levy plans, which is scheduled for this week.

Furthermore, UKH Cymru explained it wants to ensure the sector is able to contribute to national economic recovery and has joined forces with other trade bodies to oppose the extension of qualifying letting days.

National recovery 

Which would curtail legitimate self-catering businesses from claiming business rates and is another proposal opposed by the Welsh Conservatives’ motion for debate this week.

Chapman added: “We want to work constructively with Welsh Government to ensure our tourism sector can contribute to our national recovery.

“The new 182 letting threshold, up from 70, is too much and will damage many family concerns and farm diversifications if it comes in from next April as planned.

“It will also cause collateral damage for pubs, bars and restaurants in areas affected.”

Related topics: Legislation

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