Pack up any plans for taxing tourism
SIR, – I was astounded to read in Saturday’s P&J that Jenny Laing, co-leader of the council, was suggesting a tourist tax for Aberdeen.
Is she unaware that the city and shire are still reeling from the downturn in the oil and gas sector? Hotel occupancy rates are still worrying low and B&Bs are closing at an alarming speed.
We need to encourage tourists, not discourage them by increasing their holiday budget with an extra bed tax.
Aberdeen city and shire are remote from the booming tourist industry city of Edinburgh and we should cherish the tourists who do venture here.
Facilities which serve tourism are diminishing – for example public toilets are closing, and parking is difficult and expensive.
Local communities are having to provide volunteers to keep toilet facilities and caravan parks open.
Small businesses are struggling as a result of high council taxes.
Innovative businesses are needed to add interest to this area. VisitScotland has closed many of its offices.
The tourist spend here is high, paying for accommodation, meals fuel, car hire and souvenir shopping and they do not need their spending money depleted further by an unwelcome tax.
Some countries who have introduced tourist tax have had to abolish them because of the decline in tourism the tax created.
Can Aberdeen city and shire please encourage rather than discourage tourism? The area certainly needs more income to replace what has been lost by the massive downturn in the local economy.