Tourist tax for Cornwall?

Tax, tax, tax, it seems that all this country knows about is how to tax us to the hilt.

We have income tax, we have VAT and, if we want to escape the UK for a well-earned rest we have to pay the much-despised Air Passenger Duty(APD), but now, if Cornwall council has its way, we’ll also have to pay for the privilege of taking a holiday in Cornwall.

Apparently, the council could raise as much as £25 million by charging £1 per night for visitors to stay in the county – that’s £56 for a fortnight’s holiday for a family of four, more than the cost of APD for a family of four to fly to Europe on holiday.

In the tough economic times we face, wouldn’t you think they would be welcoming tourists with open arms, not imposing a tax that may deter us from visiting? If the tax is introduced, you have to ask yourself how many families would choose to save £56 and stay in Devon, the neighbouring county?

Cornwall is a very popular tourist destination that sees the local population soar from 500,000 to five million over the summer period putting a strain on local resources. Yes, the roads are mega busy during the summer holidays, and it can be a nightmare driving to the West Country at the weekends, but does it really warrant the introduction of a tourist tax?

Surely a tax would be detrimental to the Cornish tourist industry? After all, many countries which have introduced some form of air passenger duty have scrapped it due to the negative impact it had on foreign visitors.

What do you think? Could Cornwall face falling visitor numbers if this tax is introduced. Would you be willing to pay the tax or would you just holiday somewhere else? And, if Cornwall does add a tourist tax, which counties will be next?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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