A consultation on a potential Tourist Tax has been launched by the Highland Council today (Thursday 15 August.)
The Council say the Tourist Tax is one option for raising income to manage the impact of tourism.
It is estimated that the levy could generation £5-£10 million each year.
Council Leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson, said: “Tourism is of huge importance to the Highlands. We recognise the benefits, challenges and impact that tourists have across the area and are committed to supporting this industry to ensure its success is sustainable.
“A Highland Transient Visitor Levy is one option the Council is considering to raise income to manage the challenges tourism is both facing and contributing to in Highland.
“The Consultation has been shaped by lots of research and engagement with the public and tourism industry to ensure we are asking the right questions. It does not simply gather information on people’s support or opposition. It gives respondents lots of opportunity to help us shape what a Levy might look like were it to be implemented.
"This includes important questions such as who should pay? How much? And how? And how revenue from a Visitor Levy could be invested to deliver maximum benefit for Highland?”
The Scottish Government has committed to introducing legislation by 2021 that would allow local authorities in Scotland to implement a Transient Visitor Levy. The Highland Council will use information gathered through its Consultation to ensure Highland is represented in the Government’s National Consultation.
Findings from the Visitor Survey, Open Consultation and research will be reported to Full Council on 12 December 2019.
The survey will be open until 20 October 2019 and can be found here.