Highlands & Islands

Hotel rooms tax 'could raise millions for facilities'

Inverness Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Supporters argue a hotel room tax would be welcomed by visitors to the Highlands if used to improve attractions and facilities

A senior councillor at Highland Council has suggested a tax on hotel rooms would raise millions of pounds to improve facilities and attractions.

Maxine Smith, leader of the SNP group on the local authority, said the charge paid by tourists worked well in other parts of Europe and the US.

She told BBC Radio Scotland it could be a few years before such taxation was introduced.

A tourist tax has previously been suggested for Edinburgh.

The SNP group, when it led Highland Council's administration, proposed that visitors staying in hotels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts could be asked for a contribution towards roads maintenance and waste services.

Ms Smith told BBC Radio Scotland the extra charge would not discourage tourists coming to Scotland.

She said: "If you look at what has happened in Europe and the States it doesn't put people off at all.

"In fact, when they know they are going to get better facilities and better attractions they are all for it."

A spokesperson for the Scottish government said: "The Scottish government has no plans for a bed tax or tourism levy."

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