©Paul Tomkins, Visitscotland

Visitor Levy for Edinburgh


The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in May 2023. If passed, the legislation will allow councils to add a tax to overnight accommodation, if they wish to do so.

The Edinburgh Visitor Levy, otherwise referred to as the Edinburgh Tourism Tax, would enable the City of Edinburgh Council to collect a small fee on overnight accommodation bookings. The revenue that this generates would then be invested back into the city.

The levy is not currently in force in Edinburgh, however, efforts are underway to explore what the city’s implementation of a levy would and / or could look like and how it will benefit the city and those living and visiting it.

Find out more on The City of Edinburgh Council’s Visitor Levy page and read the latest report that was discussed at the Policy and Sustainability committee meeting.

Why have a visitor levy?

The purpose of introducing a visitor levy is so visitors who temporarily pay to stay in the city and use the public space and services, are contributing to the city’s investment in, and management of, a successful visitor economy.

How will the visitor levy work in Edinburgh?

The levy is paid by the visitor on the accommodation aspect of the booking only. This means that any room add-ons such as food and drink, leisure facility access, parking etc. will not be included in the levy calculations.

The levy is not charged per person. It is based on the value of the room booking, minus room add-ons. This is subject to change and will not be confirmed until the final bill has been published.

The levy is paid by the visitor to the accommodation provider, who is liable for the levy. They Council will then collect all levy payments from accommodation providers.

When will we see a visitor levy in Edinburgh?

Timescales are dependent on the pace at which the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill passes through parliament. Based on current timescales in the draft bill, the earliest a visitor levy could be applied in Scotland is 2026.

We will keep this page updated with further developments.