Proposals for a Tourism Tax in Wales will devastate the sector and rural communities in particular, say opponents of the Labour-led Welsh Government.
The plan is part of fund-raising powers being explored by Welsh Government after it got the right to levy its own selective taxes.
The success of the tourism industry and Welsh Government’s own VisitWales campaigns have helped bring a 6% rise in overnight trips to Wales.
The proposal for a ‘tourist tax’ – also backed by Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems – were announced by Labour’s Finance Minister in a draft budget and comes after Plaid agreed a deal to keep the Welsh Labour Government in office for the next two years.
The Great Britain Tourism Survey shows there were 4.24 million overnight trips to Wales from Great Britain between January and June 2017, an increase of 6.3% on the same period in 2016.
The amount of spend during this period has also increased to £724 million pounds an increase of 9.5% compared to January to June 2016.
Following the release of the figures, Shadow Secretary for Economy, Russell George AM, called on the three parties to immediately pull the proposal, saying it could lead to a huge drop in visitors and tourist spend in Wales.
Meanwhile, Welsh Government’s VisitWales body promoting tourism is taking part in the UK’s biggest tourism event at the World Travel Market London next month in a bid to increase vacations.