Welsh visitor levy plans ‘disappointing’

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Hard hit: Welsh Visitor Levy plans are disappointing says BBPA
Hard hit: Welsh Visitor Levy plans are disappointing says BBPA

Related tags Legislation Wales Social responsibility Finance British beer & pub association

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned plans for Welsh tourists to pay an extra fee overnight would “hit hospitality hard”.

This comes after the Welsh Government announced yesterday (Thursday 30 March) it would move ahead with plans to introduce a visitor levy in Wales.

Local authorities will have the powers to introduce a levy in their areas, and the money will then be spent on maintaining the local area.

The Senedd needs to approve plans before they are introduced.

Responding to the Welsh visitor levy announcement​, BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The confirmation of plans to introduce a visitor levy in Wales is extremely disappointing and will hit the hospitality industry hard.

"Pubs and breweries across Wales are already subject to high taxation, and the proposal for this new levy comes just as our sector is also facing extreme pressure from skyrocketing energy costs, rising prices and a cost-of-living crisis."

Helping hospitality

She continued: “Welsh pubs and brewers contribute hugely to the Welsh tourism offer drawing visitors from all over and now is not the time to place additional deterrents on visitors that want to enjoy the hospitality that is the forefront of the tourism offer.

“Now that the levy has been confirmed, the Welsh Government must ensure funds raised are tightly ring-fenced and channeled back into infrastructure that benefits tourism and hospitality to boost businesses, not limit them.

The Welsh government says the charge will be "small" at commercially-let overnight visitor accommodation.

Strong opposition

The Welsh Conservatives, the largest opposition party in the Senedd, has accused the government of "taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut".

In December, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said the trade body “strongly opposed” the introduction of the visitor levy, particularly at a time when hospitality was facing soaring costs and staff shortages. 

“The added burden in administrative costs, time and likely impact on visitor numbers and spend, could prove to be the final straw for some businesses that are the heartbeat of many local communities and the lifeblood of our highstreets,” she added. “Put simply, this is the wrong tax at the wrong time.”

Related topics Legislation

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