Edinburgh Announces New Tourist Tax

Over-tourism has been a much-discussed problem in recent years. Travel has become more accessible and popular, which has left some major destinations around the world struggling from the impacts. Cities and countries have considered the idea of taxing tourists as a way to counteract the adverse effects of over-tourism, like environmental degradation and overcrowding. For example, one of the most visited islands in the world is Bali, Indonesia. Due to the many tourists and the party scene on this island, their waters and beaches have suffered. The island started considering taxing all tourists and using the revenue to clean up the beaches.

The city of Venice in Italy has also toyed around with the idea. They want to ensure that tourists and residents are kept separate so that tourists don’t encroach too much on the Venetians’ quality of life. Although several of these places have considered the idea and even implemented other versions, Edinburgh wants to be the first city actually to enact a tourist tax. The city council recently voted for the Transient Visitor Levy bill, which means that visitors staying overnight in the city are subject to extra fees.

Each tourist staying in paid accommodation is subject to a $2.60 fee per night, under this new law. The tax applies for a maximum of one week and does not apply to those who choose to camp. Now that city council has approved the bill; it just has to be passed by the Scottish parliament. Once the tourist tax is officially in motion, many of the city’s officials believe it has the potential to help the city keep their attractions clean and in better shape. They also maintain that it helps the city balance out the economic losses from travelers who pass through Edinburgh without paying for overnight accommodation.


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