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UKHospitality aghast at Highland Council tourist tax consultation

UKHospitality has reacted with astonishment at Highland Council’s consultation on a tourist tax and called on it to avoid any measures that would threaten Scotland’s hospitality sector.

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland, Willie Macleod said, “It is astonishing that the Highland Council is using public money to consult on a tourist tax, just before the Scottish Government is to launch a national consultation on the same issue.

“The Council’s interest in squeezing businesses, at a time when costs are continually rising, is very disappointing. Margins for employers are already shrinking and we are facing a level of political uncertainty that is near-unprecedented.

'To even consider heaping more and more costs on businesses that are vital to the economic success of the Highlands at this time is ridiculous.'

Macleod continued, “The timing of the consultation is also dubious. Schools have now returned following the Summer break so the views of Scottish families who holiday in the Highlands, and who will bear the cost of any tourist tax on future holidays, may not be heard.

'We hope the Council reconsiders its approach and avoids pursuing any measures that would threaten Scotland’s hospitality businesses.”

Dunrobin Castle, the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands, is pictured.