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The Scottish highlands will soon be charging a £1 Transient Visitor Levy, becoming the first area in the United Kingdom to introduce a tourism tax. The tax was approved by the Highland Council as means to improve the conditions of the area and will be introduced by 2021. Currently, tourists have claimed to be subjected to unsavoury situations, including littered streets, lack of effective sanitation, drains containing human waste, and gridlocks created by cars on roads. The same were conveyed to the Members of Scottish Parliament in a meeting.
The revenue generated by the taxes are to be used in improving the public facilities, so as to avoid tourists leaving with negative impressions. The collection is expected to increase the budget by £5-10 million.
The decision has been a controversial topic as the local hospitality sector fears a drop in the tourism count. It is perceived that tourists will consider it expensive to visit the attractions. Additionally, campsites has not been ruled out under the taxation. This adds to the worry as wild camping is a rather popular activity in the region.
The highlands are a booming area in terms of tourism, collecting approximately £6.5 million from visitations to Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, the Moray Firth, Inverness, and the Isle of Skye. A whopping 25,000 people are currently recruited in the industry. The area is known for its scenic beauty.
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