Tourism Tax Bashed On BBC Show

Thomas Scarrott shares taxation concerns
Thomas Scarrott shares taxation concerns

Monday, 23, Oct 2017 12:25

By William Coleman

A short while ago it was announced that a tourism tax was being considered for the Outer Hebrides. As you can imagine this proposal was met with a fair amount of backlash. It seems the backlash is being heard all across the land with a shared disdain for ideas regarding additional taxation on tourists.

In Wales, amongst the tourism community, there are very negative feelings regarding the tourism tax proposal. The owner of a major holiday park group, Thomas Scarrott, feels that this tax idea would be devastating for the Welsh tourism industry.

Mr. Scarrott spoke on the BBC's Sunday Politics Wales show and explained that the proposal would undo a lot of the hard work done by the Welsh Government to drive an encourage tourism. The statement came during the interview at the Grondre Holiday Park near Narberth in Pembrokeshire, one of the seven holiday parks owned by his family's Vale Holiday Parks.

This new tax idea is one of four possible new taxes that is being considered by ministers and would lead to tourist who choose Wales as their holiday destination paying more for each night that they at their chosen location.

Mr. Scarrott went on to tell the Sunday Politics Wales reports Carl Roberts that a levy on visitors to Wales would not just affect accommodation providers such as his parks. There would be a damaging knock on effect to many local business such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

A large amount of the business that would suffer are local family run operations. These smaller business do not have the money and customer base that other juggernaut brands in the UK have. One bad season can sometimes be enough to put the future of these businesses in doubt.

With around £5 billion being funneled into the Welsh economy from overnight stays it really does pose a big financial threat should the population choose to avoid locations with this new taxation.

We are seeing large momentum behind the UK tourism industry at the moment. As I have reported before we are now in a golden age of tourism, these new tax proposals seem like they could certainly hinder the massive progress we are making. This tax law would also affect the tourism numbers from abroad visitors. With the UK being visited more and more by foreign holiday makers, Wales in particular, this could possible make them think twice about using our country as their holiday destination.

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