Recently, we interviewed Ashford Price, the owner of Dan Yr Ogof caves, on the topic of the proposed tourism tax and how it will affect the tourism industry. In the interview, it was revealed that the National Showcaves Centre for Wales has had to put many of their future plans on a backburner as this tourism tax will majorly affect their income and thus will leave them struggling to maintain one of the main Welsh tourist attractions in Wales.
The tourism tax will increase how much is being spent by tourism attractions by an astronomical margin. As if that wasn’t enough another aspect of the tourism tax has been added meaning visitors will additionally be required to pay a “small tax”.
The Welsh Government has now decided to launch a so-called ‘public consultation’ on the proposals orientating around the visitor aspect of the tourism tax. This consultation aims to create points on who should pay the levy, who would be charging and collecting the levy and how it is applied.
Either way, this tourism tax could mean major implications to Welsh tourism and ruin the entire industry. Tourist attractions are already responsible for paying huge amounts of tax as it is and this is just another ploy by Mark Drakeford (who funnily enough won’t need to pay a tax on his second home as it’s a “chalet”) to increase taxes and further ruin our economy.
Particularly going into a recession, the policies will, long term, do more harm than good. The Welsh Language Society released a statement on the consultation, claiming it to be positive, spokesman Jeff Smith said, “tourism has been seen as something that benefits visitors without consideration of the impact on the community. A number of areas in Wales are dependent on tourism but that is not sustainable in the long term.”
Jeff further added, “Visitors are charged a higher amount to visit attractions or to stay in a number of cities across Europe such as Paris, Venice, and Madrid and countries such as New Zealand and Japan. People still visit those places. If we believe that Wales is an attractive place to come and visit then it stands to reason that people will still come here even if they have to pay an extra amount – especially if that benefits the area. Individuals don’t have to be charged large sums either but raising a small tax on visitors would raise a significant amount that could be invested in local services and develop a sustainable industry that serves the community.”