Welsh Conservatives have criticised Labour plans for a ‘Tourism Tax’ which they say could devastate small Welsh businesses and discourage people from visiting Wales.
The idea has been investigated and introduced in other parts of the world, and Plaid’s Finance Spokesman confirmed in the chamber this afternoon that it could be used to pay for marketing.
Labour’s Finance Minister announced the plans in today’s draft budget – without providing details.
It comes as Plaid Cymru agreed a budget deal with the Welsh Labour Government to keep them in office for at least two years.
A so-called ‘Tourism Tax’ was introduced in 2016 in Ibiza and Majorca – with Thomas Cook slamming the levy as a “significant extra sum” on family holidays which could persuade many families to holiday elsewhere.
The Majorca Hoteliers’ Federation said the tax would lead to “millions in losses” for the islands’ economy.
Commenting Shadow Finance Secretary, Nick Ramsay AM, said:
“This tax on tourists could devastate small firms, discouraging people from visiting Wales and making the average family holiday much more expensive.
“Presumably this would apply during peak season, when parents already face a huge burden with inflated prices.
“The impact on jobs and the smallest hotels and B&Bs could be devastating.
“It’s the job of Welsh Government to attract people to come and spend money visiting our beautiful country – not meet them at the airport and fleece them.”
See below, extract from the Written Statement by Finance Minister – Mark Drakeford.
“We will work with local government to explore how a tax on tourist accommodation could be used to support the local industry and encourage jobs and growth in Wales.”
Quotes for Thomas Cook and Majorca Hoteliers’ Federation from the Daily Mirror: LINK.