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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    Which 'they' are you referring to here - elected Councillors or the permanent officials?

    Implementing a Tourist Tax is a complete no-brainer. The vast number of visitors generated by a mixture of the dumb luck of our history and location, the hard work that goes into maintaining profile through the festivals and Hogmanay and the city's attractiveness as a work and academic location means that a huge amount of demand is placed on public services without a direct means of recouping the costs.

    All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs - and incidentally has a significant trickle-down effect elsewhere in Scotland geographically - but the Council itself sees little benefit in revenue terms to assist in the provision of all the services a city needs to support these visitor activities.

    There's a mechanism for regulating how the Council spends its money - local elections. So if you don't like how the SNP-led coalition currently in charge of Edinburgh is performing, whether on counting demonstration sizes or providing decent roads or bin collections, you can vote for someone else next time.
    Local elections have been a source of much frustration for many residents. Hence the grass roots resistance growing in Leith and other places.

    We also have joke consultations over issues like public parks, cycleways and other things that effect residents at the expense of transients and multi national businesses.

    In the spirit of transparency, I cite recent consultations on West Princes Street Gardens, and Meadowbank. Open to non residents, and it is very easy to vote twice.

    I don't get how the council can run the city if they can't control their staff.
    Last edited by Chic Murray; 11-10-2018 at 01:42 PM.


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  3. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chic Murray View Post
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    Local elections have been a source of much frustration for many residents. Hence the grass roots resistance growing in Leith and other places.

    We also have joke consultations over issues like public parks, cycleways and other things that effect residents at the expense of transients and multi national businesses.

    In the spirit of transparency, I cite recent consultations on West Princes Street Gardens, and Meadowbank. Open to job residents, and it is very easy to vote twice.

    I don't get how the council can run the city if they can't control their staff.

    Elections may be a source of frustration but they are the only mechanism open to you when push literally comes to shove. People like Trump, May, Corbyn and Sturgeon don't elect themselves, we put them there. So we as electorates have a responsibility to get engaged. For example, without the votes for Leave in Scotland and Wales the UK wouldn't currently be negotiating Brexit, so every election does matter.

    Who are the 'they' that you don't like in the Council, is it elected members or officers or both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    Elections may be a source of frustration but they are the only mechanism open to you when push literally comes to shove. People like Trump, May, Corbyn and Sturgeon don't elect themselves, we put them there. So we as electorates have a responsibility to get engaged. For example, without the votes for Leave in Scotland and Wales the UK wouldn't currently be negotiating Brexit, so every election does matter.

    Who are the 'they' that you don't like in the Council, is it elected members or officers or both?
    Engage with what though? Take the trams, not one party stood on a ticket that said there would be no extension.

    My ward (Forth) has four councillors. It's practically impossible not to get elected.

    I'm afraid more direct action is what it's going to take. Because at the moment, "lessons will be learned", and "we look forward to hearing the suggestions" is not cutting it in terms of what people want, or don't want.

  5. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Day Soon View Post
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    Which 'they' are you referring to here - elected Councillors or the permanent officials?

    Implementing a Tourist Tax is a complete no-brainer. The vast number of visitors generated by a mixture of the dumb luck of our history and location, the hard work that goes into maintaining profile through the festivals and Hogmanay and the city's attractiveness as a work and academic location means that a huge amount of demand is placed on public services without a direct means of recouping the costs.

    All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs - and incidentally has a significant trickle-down effect elsewhere in Scotland geographically - but the Council itself sees little benefit in revenue terms to assist in the provision of all the services a city needs to support these visitor activities.

    There's a mechanism for regulating how the Council spends its money - local elections. So if you don't like how the SNP-led coalition currently in charge of Edinburgh is performing, whether on counting demonstration sizes or providing decent roads or bin collections, you can vote for someone else next time.


    If “All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs” then why not get those businesses put their hands in their distended pockets and pay for it……As a tourist, I don’t want to pay any more for my outrageous hotel/AirB&B price.

    The EC council will more than likely waste the extra revenue garnered from any tourist tax on polishing their *****.

  6. #65
    Why not implement a "windfall tax" on Edinburgh hotels who greatly increase their prices (sometimes quadrupled) during the festival, rugby internationals etc.

  7. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curried View Post
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    If “All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs” then why not get those businesses put their hands in their distended pockets and pay for it……As a tourist, I don’t want to pay any more for my outrageous hotel/AirB&B price.

    The EC council will more than likely waste the extra revenue garnered from any tourist tax on polishing their *****.
    If you're a tourist unwilling to pay the tax in Edinburgh and presumably elsewhere you'll not be a tourist anywhere before long!
    Space to let

  8. #67
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    UOTE=Bangkok Hibby;5573906]Why not implement a "windfall tax" on Edinburgh hotels who greatly increase their prices (sometimes quadrupled) during the festival, rugby internationals etc.[/QUOTE]

    Good idea....why not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
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    If you're a tourist unwilling to pay the tax in Edinburgh and presumably elsewhere you'll not be a tourist anywhere before long!

    I think you’re on the money, as there are very few places on the planet where the coke bottle has not landed:-)

  10. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    Why not implement a "windfall tax" on Edinburgh hotels who greatly increase their prices (sometimes quadrupled) during the festival, rugby internationals etc.
    Would you suggest subsidising them during the quiet times?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Would you suggest subsidising them during the quiet times?
    Or indeed take into consideration their business rates, employee costs, use of local food producers and trades etc etc before assuming just because a business charges something they are making vast profits.

    And where do you stop with such a concept?

    Windfall tax on any business that directly or indirectly benefits from tourists just because they happen to make a few quid from them?

    The tourist tax works as it’s a specific charge on a visitor to the city that is a direct contribution to the main authority that is responsible for the many amenities a tourist utilized on their visit.

    Random ‘windfall’ taxes on local businesses is hardly the same.

  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curried View Post
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    If “All that visitor traffic is good for business and jobs” then why not get those businesses put their hands in their distended pockets and pay for it……As a tourist, I don’t want to pay any more for my outrageous hotel/AirB&B price.

    The EC council will more than likely waste the extra revenue garnered from any tourist tax on polishing their *****.
    Who would pay it? Just hotels, or taxi-drivers, shops, restaurants, theatres, public transport and every other business that makes money from tourists?

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  13. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    Would you suggest subsidising them during the quiet times?
    I assume any business will work to margins which keep them competitive and provide a nice dividend for shareholders, or a wee holiday for the owners. So bearing that in mind, I don't feel sorry or feel any sense of responsibility to put my hand in my pocket to further their profits in any way.

    These same businesses (hotels) then proceed to rip the pish out of tourists during busy times. My question is simple...why should tourists be expected to pay extra, on top of the already inflated costs these hotels impose.
    If the answer is because "Edinburgh council need it" then I'll go back to my point about businesses contributing something from their profits.

  14. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    Who would pay it? Just hotels, or taxi-drivers, shops, restaurants, theatres, public transport and every other business that makes money from tourists?

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    For me it would be hotels who raise prices during busy times. Taxis, public transport, theatre tickets etc are the same price all year as far as I'm aware

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    I'm pretty certain I've read of north American cities levying a tourist tax to pay for stadiums they are helping the local baseball or American football franchise to build …. especially cities hoping to attract a new American football franchise or to get one to relocate there.

    If this works in Edinburgh perhaps Glasgow could levy a Hampden renovations tourist tax

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    For me it would be hotels who raise prices during busy times. Taxis, public transport, theatre tickets etc are the same price all year as far as I'm aware
    Theatre tickets are different prices during busy periods.

    Train fares, flights, holidays generally, and Uber all raise prices when they get busy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    I assume any business will work to margins which keep them competitive and provide a nice dividend for shareholders, or a wee holiday for the owners. So bearing that in mind, I don't feel sorry or feel any sense of responsibility to put my hand in my pocket to further their profits in any way.

    These same businesses (hotels) then proceed to rip the pish out of tourists during busy times. My question is simple...why should tourists be expected to pay extra, on top of the already inflated costs these hotels impose.
    If the answer is because "Edinburgh council need it" then I'll go back to my point about businesses contributing something from their profits.
    Dividends/profits etc. will be assessed over a year.

    While a business may make a lot in August, they make a loss in January.

  18. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    For me it would be hotels who raise prices during busy times. Taxis, public transport, theatre tickets etc are the same price all year as far as I'm aware
    What about the months when they reduce prices, but still have to pay their staff and overheads? Or the months when they close because there's not enough business?

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    I’ve never really understood why we didn’t have a tourist tax of some form.

    Going back to the early 1980s, I can remember paying a “Bad” tax while touring West Germany (as was) on my bike. Even one night in a wet campsite attracted the tax, if it was a spa town. Wish I’d never gone to Baden Wurttemberg 😄

    I’m sure some of our German residents can confirm my memories.

  20. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    What about the months when they reduce prices, but still have to pay their staff and overheads? Or the months when they close because there's not enough business?

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    No hotel will reduce prices to the point they can't pay enough staff to keep open. I'd suggest they shouldn't be in business if that's the case. Do you know for a fact that some hotels close when it's quiet?
    Whilst quiet times are a trial for businesses (I know this through trying to keep a golf club bar profitable) The whole point of my argument is the outrageous increases (Edinburgh) hotels impose during busy times. If there must be a levy paid to the council I propose it's shared between the tourist tax and something from the profits of the hotels who benefit the most.

  21. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
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    Dividends/profits etc. will be assessed over a year.

    While a business may make a lot in August, they make a loss in January.
    A loss? How do you know? Quieter times yes, less profits yes, but I'm sure they make enough to tick over, then BOOM, hammer the tourist time!

    If the local Tesco or Sainsbury's did the same during the festival people would be up in arms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    No hotel will reduce prices to the point they can't pay enough staff to keep open. I'd suggest they shouldn't be in business if that's the case. Do you know for a fact that some hotels close when it's quiet?
    Whilst quiet times are a trial for businesses (I know this through trying to keep a golf club bar profitable) The whole point of my argument is the outrageous increases (Edinburgh) hotels impose during busy times. If there must be a levy paid to the council I propose it's shared between the tourist tax and something from the profits of the hotels who benefit the most.
    In answer to your question, many smaller hotels and guest houses do close during the winter months. That's sometimes to keep themselves below the VAT threshold, but more often because there's not enough business to justify being open.

    On your wider point, every hotel industry in every tourist destination raises their prices at peak times. That's just basic capitalism. I'm not sure why Edinburgh should be any different.

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  23. #82
    Quote Originally Posted by CropleyWasGod View Post
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    In answer to your question, many smaller hotels and guest houses do close during the winter months. That's sometimes to keep themselves below the VAT threshold, but more often because there's not enough business to justify being open.

    On your wider point, every hotel industry in every tourist destination raises their prices at peak times. That's just basic capitalism. I'm not sure why Edinburgh should be any different.

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    OK no problem, I haven't lived in Edinburgh for a very long time so I accept what you say about Hotels closing.

    The original question was about an "Edinburgh tourist tax" so that's why I've focussed my comments on Edinburgh. I also know how capitalism works but I also firmly believe Edinburgh hotels "rip the pish"

    Nice group this.....measured responses in the main and very little aggro. It's a pleasure to be a member

  24. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    OK no problem, I haven't lived in Edinburgh for a very long time so I accept what you say about Hotels closing.

    The original question was about an "Edinburgh tourist tax" so that's why I've focussed my comments on Edinburgh. I also know how capitalism works but I also firmly believe Edinburgh hotels "rip the pish"

    Nice group this.....measured responses in the main and very little aggro. It's a pleasure to be a member


    It's an interesting debate, and one which might fall at the first hurdle if the SG decide not to grant the power to CEC.

    If it goes ahead, simplicity is the key for me. Otherwise, it just gets bogged down in administration and the consequent costs. Although I can see the argument for a profits-based levy, the enforcement of that is fraught with potential complications. That, for me, is why a simple "£x per night" is the best solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    OK no problem, I haven't lived in Edinburgh for a very long time so I accept what you say about Hotels closing.

    The original question was about an "Edinburgh tourist tax" so that's why I've focussed my comments on Edinburgh. I also know how capitalism works but I also firmly believe Edinburgh hotels "rip the pish"

    Nice group this.....measured responses in the main and very little aggro. It's a pleasure to be a member
    I've just booked a room in Las Vegas for 6 nights over Hogmanay. It's costing nearly £1600. Literally.

    6 nights in November cost half that.

    Try booking a flight or a holiday during the school term and compare that to the peak summer period.

    It's supply and demand. Prices will be as low as required to fill rooms, sell flights. When people are willing to pay more, prices will rise

    If there's a scarce toy or electronic gadget this Christmas, pop over to eBay to see the principal in operation too. 😉
    Last edited by Hibbyradge; 15-10-2018 at 10:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturday Boy View Post
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    I’ve never really understood why we didn’t have a tourist tax of some form.

    Going back to the early 1980s, I can remember paying a “Bad” tax while touring West Germany (as was) on my bike. Even one night in a wet campsite attracted the tax, if it was a spa town. Wish I’d never gone to Baden Wurttemberg 😄

    I’m sure some of our German residents can confirm my memories.
    Yeah - Kurtax is still required here - and if you get caught by an inspector on, e.g. a beach without the card/receipt proving you have paid your tax, you will have to pay an on-the-spot fine - if you refuse to pay, you get taken to a quite spot where you will be shot ... having said that, I've lived most of my life here and no inspector has ever asked me on a beach to produce confirmation that I have actually paid my Kurtax - I haven't seen anyone being shot either come to think of it - not yet anyway ...

    The tax is levied on everybody who visits the tourist resort/town - you don't have to stay overnight, just being there is enough ...


    NB - A part of this post is not actually true ...
    .... Die spinnen, die Briten ....

  27. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Hibbyradge View Post
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    I've just booked a room in Las Vegas for 6 nights over Hogmanay. It's costing nearly £1600. Literally.

    6 nights in November cost half that.

    Try booking a flight or a holiday during the school term and compare that to the peak summer period.

    It's supply and demand. Prices will be as low as required to fill rooms, sell flights. When people are willing to pay more, prices will rise

    If there's a scarce toy or electronic gadget this Christmas, pop over to eBay to see the principal in operation too. 😉
    Yea thanks for the lesson on supply and demand. For the final time I'll say my point is about "Edinburgh hotels" Many raising their prices up to four times during "any busy period" Festival, Rugby match, Rod Stewart concert etc.

    Have a nice day

  28. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    Yea thanks for the lesson on supply and demand. For the final time I'll say my point is about "Edinburgh hotels" Many raising their prices up to four times during "any busy period" Festival, Rugby match, Rod Stewart concert etc.

    Have a nice day
    I thought that this was a friendly, civilised forum with measured responses. Obviously, I seem to have hit inadvertently a nerve.

    My point is that you want Edinburgh hoteyliers to behave differently from every other hotel on the planet. I think those expectations are unreasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    Yea thanks for the lesson on supply and demand. For the final time I'll say my point is about "Edinburgh hotels" Many raising their prices up to four times during "any busy period" Festival, Rugby match, Rod Stewart concert etc.

    Have a nice day
    The point is pretty clear. Raising prices is common practice across many industries so the challenge to you is why you have singled out ‘Edinburgh hotels’ for doing just that and why that demands a specific tax on just hotels. You have singularly failed to justify that position as to why just hotels.

    You are also basing the whole premise of your windfall tax on the fact that a certain business type raises prices according to the time of year. A metric that does zero to evidence the ability to pay said tax or the level of profitability of the business. So you have also failed to justify the suitability of your chosen metric in how it would be used to determine the suitable level of tax to be levied.

    To be fair though it is a nice day

  30. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by RyeSloan View Post
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    The point is pretty clear. Raising prices is common practice across many industries so the challenge to you is why you have singled out ‘Edinburgh hotels’ for doing just that and why that demands a specific tax on just hotels. You have singularly failed to justify that position as to why just hotels.

    You are also basing the whole premise of your windfall tax on the fact that a certain business type raises prices according to the time of year. A metric that does zero to evidence the ability to pay said tax or the level of profitability of the business. So you have also failed to justify the suitability of your chosen metric in how it would be used to determine the suitable level of tax to be levied.

    To be fair though it is a nice day
    This thread is about an Edinburgh tourist tax. I travel extensively and have to visit Edinburgh on many occasions throughout the year. The major expense I face is grossly inflated hotel prices at certain times of the year. We all understand supply and demand, increased cost of flights during school holidays, increased hotel costs at Xmas/New Year etc. Hence my perhaps curt answer above.

    Whilst I am in Edinburgh during these times (let's call me a tourist) taxi fares, bus fares, meals, a few pints, newspapers, cigarettes, a ticket for a Hibs game, cinema tickets, in fact just about anything you can think of a tourist does, are generally the same from one month to the next. You say raising prices is common across many industries. I say the major beneficiary of this practice are hotels. I find that Edinburgh hotels (as this is an Edinburgh tourist tax thread) jump on any anticipated busy spell, for example a rugby match or a concert, to raise prices, sometimes quadrupling the cost of a stay. To answer your question above, this is why I single out hotels.

    As the overwhelming major beneficiary of the bonus of the tourist Dollar, Yen, Euro, etc I don't think it would be unreasonable (if extra money is needed for the city) to get some sort of contribution from the hotels. Remember tourists don't come to Edinburgh to see hotels but hotels get the cash windfall. But let's not call it a windfall tax, call it anything you want. And as for how it would work....I haven't a clue. I'd be a politician and join the rest who haven't a clue.

    My main point is whilst many different businesses enjoy increased profits during busy times in Edinburgh, this is achieved through volume of trade. Hotels however hugely increase prices and may even put people off visiting the city during these periods. I wonder if there is data anywhere on how Scottish hotel prices affect peoples decisions to visit (or at least stay) in certain cities.

  31. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangkok Hibby View Post
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    This thread is about an Edinburgh tourist tax. I travel extensively and have to visit Edinburgh on many occasions throughout the year. The major expense I face is grossly inflated hotel prices at certain times of the year. We all understand supply and demand, increased cost of flights during school holidays, increased hotel costs at Xmas/New Year etc. Hence my perhaps curt answer above.

    Whilst I am in Edinburgh during these times (let's call me a tourist) taxi fares, bus fares, meals, a few pints, newspapers, cigarettes, a ticket for a Hibs game, cinema tickets, in fact just about anything you can think of a tourist does, are generally the same from one month to the next. You say raising prices is common across many industries. I say the major beneficiary of this practice are hotels. I find that Edinburgh hotels (as this is an Edinburgh tourist tax thread) jump on any anticipated busy spell, for example a rugby match or a concert, to raise prices, sometimes quadrupling the cost of a stay. To answer your question above, this is why I single out hotels.

    As the overwhelming major beneficiary of the bonus of the tourist Dollar, Yen, Euro, etc I don't think it would be unreasonable (if extra money is needed for the city) to get some sort of contribution from the hotels. Remember tourists don't come to Edinburgh to see hotels but hotels get the cash windfall. But let's not call it a windfall tax, call it anything you want. And as for how it would work....I haven't a clue. I'd be a politician and join the rest who haven't a clue.

    My main point is whilst many different businesses enjoy increased profits during busy times in Edinburgh, this is achieved through volume of trade. Hotels however hugely increase prices and may even put people off visiting the city during these periods. I wonder if there is data anywhere on how Scottish hotel prices affect peoples decisions to visit (or at least stay) in certain cities.
    Hotels already have to pay 1/6 of their top line in VAT, as well as 19% Corporation Tax on the remainder of any price increase. If they were subject to a further levy, their simple response would be to put their prices up. In other words, the consumer would still be the ultimate payer.

    A flat rate of £2, as has been suggested, would be insignificant in the overall price, particularly to those who are paying high-season prices.

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