The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee met and received a progress update on the recommencement of the legislative process for the Local Visitor Levy Bill, including the likely timescales and implications for its introduction in Highland.
Members agreed the Council’s proposed next steps, which include an offer to provide verbal and written evidence to the Scottish Government Parliamentary Committee(s).
Economy and Infrastructure Committee Chair, Cllr Ken Gowans said:
“The Highland tourism sector offers vital economic benefit to the Highlands and Islands and the Local Tourism Levy supports its sustainability; estimated to generate £5m-£10m per year the revenue will enable the Council to support the tourism sector, improve infrastructure and enhance the visitor experience.
“Given that any implementation would not be until at least 2026, over the next few years the Council will take the opportunity to undertake extensive consultation with our partners, communities, and stakeholders to assist in the Levy’s introduction across Highland.”
Next steps: Scottish Parliament’s 3-stage process for Government bills, which includes:-
Stage One – general principles are examined by the lead Committee with input from any other relevant Committee, followed by plenary vote on the Bill by the Parliament as a whole;
Stage Two – consideration at Committee level, including any suggested amendments; and
Stage Three – plenary debate on the Bill by the Parliament as whole, including consideration of any further amendments
Following approval by Parliament, the Bill will then be sent for Royal Assent before coming into law.
The parliamentary process is proposed to begin in spring 2023 and can take around 12-14 months to implement.