Bloody hell, London's bed tax sparked ire among hoteliers calling the new policy as "absolute folly." About 2,100 hotels will be affected by London mayor Sadiq Khan's initiative which could add up as much as £3.40 per night to the recent cost.
The solid reason to tax a traveler's stay is to offset government budget cuts this year. Mayor Khan told The Independent that it was necessary for "tourists who come to London contribute to our city."
"If you look around the world, major cities have a levy for tourists of one or two per cent. This is a discussion with those in the hotel industry about how we can make sure London stays special," the mayor said.
"Especially with hotels facing all sorts of pressures with the shared economy, the rise of Airbnb, what we don't want to do, is cause damage to our brilliant hotels, some of the best in the world." However, this earned the ire of those in the travel sector especially those who offer accommodations like hotels, BnB's, resorts and lodges.
Meanwhile, British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim took to Travel Weekly and expressed her concerns. "The mayor of London's announcement is extremely worrying to London businesses as it provides sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, with an even greater advantage over hotels in the capital because visitors not only do not have to pay VAT on the cost of their stay but also would not be eligible to pay his proposed bed tax," she said.
Ibrahim also mentioned that despite the tax amount might have small effects on some hotels, it could still discourage travelers to stay overnight. "The UK's rate of tourism VAT is already twice the European average and, although some European countries have local tourism taxes, they all enjoy a lower rate of tourism VAT so that any negative impact is offset," Ibrahim shared.
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