York drops plans to introduce a ‘tourist tax’
York won’t be imposing a tax on tourists after council chiefs confirmed they do not have the powers to introduce it.
The idea of imposing a controversial tourist tax of up to £1 a night on visitors, was put forward last year as a way of increasing investment in York’s tourism sector.
Fortunately York has followed in the footsteps of Edinburgh (another town that considered charging a tourist tax), and dropped the idea.
It’s a decision that makes sense: with families already feeling financially squeezed, the introduction of a tourist tax could have killed both York and Edinburgh’s tourist trade. On a personal note, I know that I would have chosen other cities ahead of Edinburgh and York had the taxes taken effect.
What doesn’t make sense is that York’s council chiefs didn’t think to check that that the tax could actually be implemented, before announcing their plans to the public?! The fact that the tax was considered is even more curious, given that hotels in York went against the grain and enjoyed a two per cent increase in occupancy rates to 80.8 per cent in 2011, according to hotel figures released by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services.
Coming in the wake of Westminster’s antics, we can’t help but wonder: are all councils run by idiots?