MS Sam Rowlands who describes tourism tax as ‘unfair and unjust’ says now is the time to ‘support sector’

AN MS for North Wales has called for more resources to help the struggling holiday industry.

Sam Rowlands, MS and Shadow Minister for Local Government, is strongly against a proposal by Welsh Government to introduce a tourism tax in Wales.

Speaking in ‘virtual plenary’, in questions to First Minister Mark Drakeford, Mr Rowlands: “One of the biggest employers in North Wales is the tourism sector, which supports around 46,000 jobs and in normal times generates over £3.5 billion annually to the local economy.

“We are aware of your plans to explore a tourism tax on businesses holidaying in Wales. The Wales Tourism Alliance has said that this would make the industry less competitive and make Wales seem more expensive.

“Rather than time, energy and resources being spent on seeking to introduce a tax that has been rejected by the experts in the field, now should be the time to support the sector to bounce back from the pandemic.”

In response, the First Minister said: “Now is the time for the Government that was elected by the people of Wales to fulfil the manifesto on which we were elected. The proposal to explore a tourism tax was absolutely and explicitly there in our manifesto and discussed during the election campaign.

“The people of Wales made their decision; they will get the party that they voted for and the proposals that we put in front of them.”

Mr Rowlands intends to “call out” what he describes an “unfair and unjust” tourism tax.

Jim Jones, the chief executive of North Wales Tourism, has also described the idea to impose tourism tax as a “flawed”.

Mr Jones said any additional levy would be counterproductive and deter visitors from coming to North Wales and play to the “anti-visitor mantra.”

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno