RV levy to Scottish Islands attacked by locals
A suggestion to introduce a tourist levy on motorhomes by a MSP has been attacked by tourist boards who have said that it could hurt a business which is worth GBP2m to Scottish islands. This followed a letter from Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan to Scotland's Transport Minister Humza Yousaf asking him to consider a “motorhome levy”, with the proceeds being used to improve the roads.
Motorhome visits to the western isles has grown by a factor of ten over the past ten years and Harris, for example, received nearly 2,000 vans last year. This is partially due to reductions in ferry fares.
This has of courrse created problems for ferry operators as well as for the motorhomers themselves due to a lack of infrastructure such as dump points and campsites.
A study by Outer Hebrides Tourism found that the business is worth GBP2m to the local economy with motorhomers spending an average of just under GBP500 per trip.
The levy might raise GBP80,000 per annum, assuming of course that arrivals would continue at the present rate which is never the case when tourists are discouraged.