Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Popular tourist destination in Cornwall to consider charging tourist tax | Travel News | Travel

St Ives, one of Cornwall’s leading tourist destinations, is considering introducing a tax for visitors.

The Cornish town is home to around 11,500 people but attracts over 200,000 tourists, with numbers particularly high during summer.

According to the BBC, the mayor of the town has said it is considering charging visitors to stay.

Johnnie Wells, mayor of St Ives, said it was becoming “harder and harder” for the town to maintain facilities for tourists.

He said the town only got money for its 11,500 residents but was providing facilities for hundreds of thousands of visitors during summer.

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The mayor told BBC News the number of tourists “makes it very difficult as a council to make ends meet”.

He said a tax would bring “massive benefit to the town” and would help people to feel like they were contributing to St Ives.

Money could be spent on cleaning beaches, recycling facilities or maintaining essential services.

A local estate agent told the BBC he would support a tourist tax if it wasn’t too expensive for visitors.

The town already charges tourists to use public toilets but residents can use the facilities free of charge.

Locals are not charged as officials said they already pay high water rates. The toilets cost around £135,000 to run.

Manchester became the first UK city to start charging a tourist tax in April. Visitors now pay an extra £1 per night for their accommodation.

Although tourist taxes aren’t common in the UK, various schemes are very established in Europe.

Several top Spanish destinations, including Barcelona, charge visitors a fee to stay overnight with a scale that rises depending on the accommodation standard.

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