A tourism expert has warned that Labour proposals for a tourism tax would seriously harm Welsh businesses.
In a report commissioned by the Wales Tourism Alliance, Professor Annette Pritchard warns that a tourism tax will “damage (Wales’) economic performance, brand and prospects”.
Welsh Conservatives oppose the Welsh Government’s proposed tourism tax – an idea currently being considered as a potential new levy to raise money for the industry.
They argue that the impact of a tax would be the opposite to its desired impact; and instead of creating a new fund to boost Welsh tourism, a tax on holiday-makers drive prices up, costing jobs and making Wales a less attractive holiday destination.
In the report, Professor Pritchard warns:
“The imposition of higher taxes has been shown to inhibit growth, employment, revenue and holiday-making.
“Tourism outperforms all Welsh Government priority sectors and is the country’s second largest employer. A proposed tourism tax will damage its economic performance, brand and prospects.
She also warns that such a tax would “disproportionately impact those least able to afford to take a holiday.”
Commenting on the report, Shadow Economy Secretary – Russell George – said:
“The evidence against a Tourism Tax is mounting, and the Welsh Labour Government needs to reassure the sector that this terrible idea is a non-starter.
“Tourism is a major employer in Wales, creating hundreds of thousands of much-needed jobs the country over.
“A tax on holiday-makers would be a needlessly self-destructive, damaging local economies and affecting job security by making Wales less competitive.
“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.”
Notes to Editors:
Please find a copy of the report HERE: http://www.wta.org.uk/news/tourism-tax-and-its-potential-impact-on-tourism-in-wales-report-by-professor-annette-pritchard