The UK city of Bath can impose a tourist tax

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The beautiful city of Bath is one of the must-see attractions to the tourists visiting the United Kingdom. However, the countryside town in the Southeast England is going to remind the visitors that there’s no such thing as a free lunch!

Bath could be the first UK city to strike the visitors with a tourist tax! The local council is mulling over the idea of imposing tax on people for staying overnight in the city. In addition, people will also have to pay the standard room rate and VAT.

Charles Gerrish, a Conservative councillor, told BBC Radio Bristol that the proposed tax would be applied to bed & breakfasts and hotels. The council has been looking for new options for generating more revenue as it is going to face AUS$60 million (£37 million) in cuts over the following five years.

Photo Credit: Telegraph

Mr. Gerrish showed the examples of many European destinations where the visitors are asked to pay a small amount additional to their hotel bill as a contribution to the local community. According to him, the town should be considered to receive such financial contribution because of its ability to draw a huge number of tourists from all over the world.

Several European cities including Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Florence, Rome, and the Balearic Islands have already imposed taxes on tourists. Parts of Scotland have also been toying with the idea but the UK is yet to introduce such a tax.

The hotel owners and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) have criticised the idea of such taxes. A report on The Independent quoted the Brooks Guest House’s Carla Brooks who thought that the idea of a tourist tax would send a bad message to the visitors. David James, the Visit Bah chief executive, on the contrary, is not against the imposition but he doesn’t want Bath to be the first city in the UK to do that.

Photo Credit: Telegraph

The BHA even wants a reduction to the existing VAT, which is currently the highest in the Europe. The association also revealed a drop in the number of visitors in the UK for the second consecutive month.

Bath is known for its 18th century Gregorian architecture, Roman-era bath houses, and natural hotsprings. It’s also famous for being the one-time home of Jane Austen, one of the foremost English novelists.

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Rehana Akter

Rehana Akter is a freelance writer who loves writing about a little bit of everything. She has experience in article, blog post, and news article writing. She loves exploring new topics and subjects and writing on them with a touch of creative flair. Her writing style morphs itself according to the target audience and the required parameters.Rehana is a native Bangladeshi who is currently based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been into freelance writing for more than five years.