Edinburgh city councillors have voted in favour of what could be the UK’s first tourism tax.
The Transient Visitor Levy scheme would include a flat £2 per night room charge, applicable to all types of accommodation apart from campsites.
It is estimated that the new scheme, which can only come into effect if the Scottish Parliament passes enabling legislation, would raise £14.6m each year.
Council leader Adam McVey has said the levy would provide the authority with a way to sustainably support tourism and hospitality while reducing impacts on residents.
However, Willie Macleod, executive director for Scotland at UK Hospitality, which represents the views of 700-member businesses, said: ‘In these days of austerity, it seems bizarre that councillors would jeopardise losing millions of pounds of potential revenue from not only international visitors but also staycationers from Scotland and the rest of the UK.’