The introduction of a tourist tax in Scotland would see 6,000 jobs lost and a hit to the country’s economy of more than £200m, according to research by UKHospitality.
The Scottish government is consulting on the principles of giving local authorities the power to implement a Transient Visitor Levy, or tourist tax, following pressure from councils.
Hospitality operators have argued against the implementation of the tax arguing it would hit competitiveness and place a further unnecessary burden on businesses.
Analysis by UKHospitality found that if the tax was universally applied across the country the cost to jobs and the economy would be significant, with Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands the areas hardest hit.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “This ill-thought through proposal will damage Scotland’s reputation as a world-class tourism destination, increase costs for Scottish people and lead to a loss of jobs and investment at a critical time for the sector.
“The hospitality sector is already over-taxed, with sky-high business rates and one of the highest VAT rates in Europe. A new tax will put businesses, the vast majority which are SMEs, under even greater risk. It is time that this proposal was shelved and for the Scottish government to discuss with business how we can secure a bright and sustainable future for Scottish business.”