27 June 2024

Greens want Glasgow to be first council in Scotland to introduce visitor levy

27 June 2024

Greens in Glasgow hope the city will be the first in Scotland to introduce a new levy on overnight stays.

Scottish Green co-leader and Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie said such a charge would help ensure that “tourists are able to contribute to the services that they are using”.

With Holyrood having passed legislation last month giving local authorities the power to introduce a visitor levy on overnight stays, Greens on Glasgow City Council secured unanimous support for a motion requiring the the authority to start the legal process for this as soon as possible.

Councillor Blair Anderson, who proposed the motion, said: “I am delighted that all of Glasgow’s councillors agreed with our Green proposal to start the legal process and get the tourist tax up and running as soon as possible.

“The Scottish Greens are clear that the money raised needs to be invested back into our city and the services which residents rely on, like our parks, libraries and streets.

“This will make the city a more welcoming destination for visitors while also showing Glaswegians that our local communities and local services must come first.”

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Act gives local councils the power to charge a levy on those staying in hotels, and bed and breakfasts, self-catering accommodation and campsites and caravan parks.

The scheme had initially been proposed by the Scottish Greens in budget negotiations with the Scottish Government in 2019, but the legislation was delayed because of the Covid pandemic.

Mr Harvie  said: “We’re incredibly fortunate that so many people want to visit Glasgow and that it is such an attractive destination for tourists.

“Tourism brings a lot of money into local economies like Glasgow, but our councils see very little benefit from it. This is a simple step that will ensure that tourists are able to contribute to the services that they are using, while providing vital funding for our local authorities.”

Greens hope Glasgow can become the first council in Scotland to introduce a new visitor levy on overnight stays (Jane barlow/PA)

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