London to introduce new tourism levy

London is expected to soon introduce a tourist tax which could cost visitors between £2.50 (R42) and £3.40 (R57) per night on all hotel stays, according to UK newspapers.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he ‘fully endorses’ a report which recommends the tourism tax. The report mentions three different ways in which the levy could be charged: a flat rate per night; a percentage per hotel stay or flat rates set in bands depending on the star rating.

The money collected by the tax would go to cultural attractions, the London government as well as education.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, called the proposal “absolute folly” and said: “A bed tax, however small, will discourage guests from staying overnight and reduce the amount they spend in the wider London economy, impacting shops and restaurants as well as hotels. Local bed taxes will make it even harder for British businesses to compete. The UK’s rate of Tourism VAT is already twice the European average.”

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