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Why Edinburgh Wants a Tourist Tax

Scotland’s capital could charge travelers £2 per day—and don’t be surprised if other U.K. cities follow its lead.
A woman walks past a tourist shop on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.
A woman walks past a tourist shop on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.David Moir/Reuters

A trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, could soon get a little more expensive.

This month, Scotland’s capital became the first city in the U.K. to agree to a so-called tourist tax. Likely to be introduced next year, the tax will add a £2 ($2.60) surcharge per room, per night, for the first week of every stay in Edinburgh’s short-term accommodations (excluding campsites). The levy, which will still require already agreed-upon legislation in the Scottish parliament, could raise roughly £14.6 million ($18.8 million) a year, all of which could be allocated specifically for spending on issues directly related to tourism.