Tourists flock to Moray sites and landmarks like the 18th century Scalan Seminary and Mill Buildings at Braes of Glenlivit, which were used to secretly train priests when Catholicism was illegal in Scotland. Image: Scottish Civic Trust.

Moray Council supports the concept of a Local Visitor Levy

Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee has this week (Tuesday 5 September) agreed with the principle of raising funds through a local visitor levy.

The local authority doesn’t yet have the right to introduce the additional charge on overnight accommodations, such as hotels and bed & breakfasts.

But legislation that could grant local authorities those powers is progressing through the Scottish Parliament.

Committee members confirmed a recommendation to full council.

It said that both the council position (as being in favour of the principle of the levy), and the decision to implement a levy, would be subject to further reports, should the legislation be approved by the Scottish Parliament.

Research shows the charge could raise up to £1.3 million for tourism infrastructure and facilities like flower beds, core paths, toilets, and car parks in Moray following initial set up and consultation costs of between £110,000 and £460,000.

Committee chair, Cllr Marc Macrae, supported the committee’s decision but said a tourist tax must be approached with caution.

“If we’re granted powers to introduce this levy we must be careful in our decision-making around it in terms of setting levels and investment. We can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal for all of us, which is to attract people to Moray and give them a positive experience when they’re here.”

The earliest a visitor levy could be applied in Scotland is estimated to be 2026 following the Bill’s progression through Parliament.

Contact Information

Moray Council Press Office