Highland Council not allowed to introduce tourism tax until 2021
CASH-strapped Highland Council will be unable to introduce a tourism tax until 2021 at the earliest.
The local authority hoped introducing the levy could go some way to easing its budget pressures.
But Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands regional director for the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, welcomed the two-year delay.
Tourism secretary Fiona Hyslop made the announcement while addressing the Scottish Tourism Alliance yesterday.
She stressed there was no compulsion for councils to impose the tax, and there would be no tourism tax levied until legislation had been considered.
Mr Grieve said: “The prospect of an additional tax on the sector, as important as this to the Highlands, has raised concerns.
“Giving this time, and not rushing in to pass on the powers and making sure of the potential consequences and impact of a tax, is to be welcomed.”
A council spokeswoman said although potential tourism tax income had not been included in any financial targets, the money could have been used to plug some budget gaps.