A Consultation on the City of Edinburgh Council proposal for a Transient Visitor Levy/ Tourist Tax within the city

Closed 10 Dec 2018

Opened 15 Oct 2018


The City of Edinburgh Council is looking for views from all city stakeholders but in particular the hospitality and tourism sector, city businesses and investors, culture partners, visitors and residents, concerning the best possible arrangements for introducing a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) / Tourist tax in the city.

The Council is seeking feedback on:

  1. The detailed components of a scheme that could work in Edinburgh;
  2. Wider views on ways in which the council could utilise resources raised; and
  3. Feedback on preferences on how the council could increase transparent governance and accountability of an Edinburgh scheme 

Why your views matter

A TVL or tourist tax is defined as an additional charge on visitors staying overnight in paid accommodation. It is added to the accommodation bill either at the time of booking or when checking out. It usually applies as a rate based on the length of stay, for example a £2 cost per room per night. 

Many European cities that experience high tourist demand, such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Berlin, already have this tax in place.  The revenue from the TVL or tax is used differently in these cities but usually helps to improve facilities and better manage their city. 

The Council has taken the view that an Edinburgh TVL is necessary and an appropriate way to secure future investment in the tourism industry and, in order to support the council to manage the impact of that success upon our services. 

In this context the Council has defined the purpose of the TVL as being to:

  • Ensure that Edinburgh’s status as one of the world’s great cities in terms of culture and heritage is sustainable;
  • Enable future investment in culture, heritage, arts and sport activities which benefit the city and enhance tourism.
  • Ensure future investment in promotion of Edinburgh as one of the world’s best cities to visit all year round.
  • Ensure that tourists and residents equitably invest in public services that ensure visiting this city is an enjoyable and safe experience and;
  • Support the Council to manage the impact of a successful tourism industry

The findings from this consultation will be used to reshape the draft proposal for an Edinburgh TVL which can be taken forward if the Council obtains the legal power to implement the levy. 

If, for any reason, you require a paper version of this survey, please email strategyandinsight@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 529 3044.

What happens next

Thank you to all those who participated in the City of Edinburgh public consultation on the TVL. Your input will be extremely valuable in informing the Council’s consideration of next steps on an Edinburgh Scheme.

The consultation closed on 10  December 2018 and the summary report can be downloaded here.

The council will consider these findings at its meeting on 7 February 2019.


  • All Edinburgh


  • Businesses
  • Residents
  • Visitors
  • Developers/investors


  • Economic development