Wales sparks fury with 'anti-English' tourism tax as visitors vow to boycott the country

The tax would mean visitors coming to Wales will be forced to pay a tourism levy in order to stay in the country

Published

A tourism tax which could soon be implemented in Wales has been slammed by locals.

The tax would mean visitors coming to Wales will be forced to pay a tourism charge in order to stay in the country.

It could come into place this autumn if it is receives approvement at a planned consultation.

But the move has been criticised by many including Ashford Price, chair of the Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions (WAVA).

Mr Price has warned that the tax would have a negative effect on the country’s tourism sector, which is continuing to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that the change reflected an “anti-English” agenda.

Wales could soon implement a tourism tax
Wales could soon implement a tourism tax
Edinburgh could also soon introduce a similar tax
Edinburgh could also soon introduce a similar tax

The tax has also been slammed by many potential visitors, who have said they will take their holidays elsewhere if it was introduced.

One person said it would mean they would spend: “far more for my family holiday in the UK than I would if self-booking a foreign holiday.

“If this Welsh tourism tax does come about, how many of our potential customers will simply vote with their feet and go to Devon, Ireland, or Scotland rather than pay yet another tax at a time when they are trying to cope with a personal cost of living crisis.

"From the many English contacts I have made in tourism over the years, I gather there is now a growing feeling by some in England that the Welsh Government is anti-English, and also anti-tourism.

“In many Welsh regions, 80 per cent of their visitors come from England. Can Wales really afford to lose this market?

"All the other devolved areas have looked at the idea of a tourism tax. The most recent was Scotland. In the end, they all have abandoned the idea owing to the potential damage to their tourism industries.”

Another person has also hit out at the new proposed taxes: “I holiday in Wales three times a year but due to costs of fuel going up, that is now only going to be once a year.

“If another tax has to be paid just for holidaying in Wales, that will stop altogether.

“Accommodation is more expensive, eating out is more expensive, and the need to buy petrol, pay for car parking and pay for attractions when the weather is dull all add extra costs to a British holiday.

“A tourist tax...would render the trip uneconomic.”

A similar tax could also soon be implemented in Edinburgh if the Scottish national Party win the region at next month’s elections.

The tax would mean that visitors would pay £2 a night per room per night, with the total to be capped at £14.

It would also apply to booking through companies such as AirBnB.