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Tourism Sector Visitor Levy

Volume 742: debated on Wednesday 6 December 2023

4. What recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the potential financial impact of proposals to implement a visitor levy for Wales on the tourism sector. (900419)

The UK Government are investing in Wales and in the Welsh tourism industry, which has been evidenced most recently by the decision to allocate £500,000 to the Hay Festival—a project championed by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary. It is a pity that the Welsh Government are not taking the same view about the importance of the tourism industry and are introducing a tax that signals that Wales is closed for business.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. It is no surprise that hitting tourists with a tax is likely to deter them from wanting to visit Wales, despite the natural beauty of places such as Snowdonia and the attractions of visiting locations such as Anglesey. Alongside highlighting the folly of this move from the Welsh Labour Government, will he ensure that anyone advocating for a tax on tourism anywhere else in the UK is reminded of the negative impact that it would have on our tourism sector?

I can assure my hon. Friend that not only will I be reminding the Welsh Labour Government about the importance of supporting the tourism industry and the folly of introducing a tax, but my Conservative colleagues in the Senedd will also be making that point. I hope that the Welsh Labour Government will listen to them and also listen to the Wales Tourism Alliance, which has said that this tax will be a tax on jobs and a tax on an industry that employs one in 10 people in Wales.