‘Anti-English’ tourism tax in Wales blasted ‘madness’ – Holiday cottages could disappear

Wales tourist tax is 'bad for the environment' says Vine caller

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In an attempt to clamp down on the second home and holiday homes crisis, Cardiff hopes to raise occupancy thresholds to at least 182 days per year. However, this may hugely disadvantage holiday-let business owners.

Some self-catering operators in Wales are afraid that they will be forced to close their doors.

Failure to meet the 182 days per year threshold may mean that holiday-let business owners face a second homes Council Tax premium of up to a gargantuan 300 percent.

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan Yr Ogof, Brecon Beacons, is one such business.

It currently has 20 self-catering units, but the proposed rule has meant it has abandoned plans to build 10 more luxury units.

Instead, The National Showcaves Centre will move this part of the business to England.

Chairman Ashford Price, who called the move “anti-English” believes that this will cause significant economic damage.

Additionally, it would give British and Scottish tourism an edge over Wales.

Ashford continued that some Welsh business owners will have “no option” but to close their doors if the new regulation is instated.

A survey of more than 1,500 businesses by the Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA) revealed that 84 percent of self-catering operators fear that they won’t be able to continue new lettings.

The WTA, with UK Hospitality Cymru (UKHC) and Professional Association of Self Caterers UK (PASC UK), called for a rethink.

They argued that this tool would do little to make homes more affordable for locals, and a great deal for making the tourism sector struggle.

“As a tool to bring properties back into a market which is affordable to local people, it will not work.

“Rather, it will reduce local owners’ ability to earn an income and cause a decline in secondary jobs in hospitality, retail, house maintenance and cleaning.”

They suggested that it may lessen the cultural integrity of the country, as it will not safeguard the Welsh language.

They predicted that these businesses will be lost to wealthier outsiders who are prepared to meet the higher costs of having a second home or self-catering businesses in Wales.

People have taken to Facebook to express their distaste.

Charlie Jones stated: “Let’s see what happens when all these properties flood the market causing house prices to slump, which is what these policies are trying to achieve.

“Making housing more affordable through increased supply might not be so popular when home owners end up in negative equity or lose 30 percent plus off the value of their home!”

However, Letty Macko said: “We’re are not anti-English, we are not anti-tourist but are anti-destruction of our beautiful country – if you can’t respect the area, don’t come.

“I am not against these taxes, I welcome them with a huge hug because the area is overwhelmed to the point where its not enjoyable anymore to visit certain areas.”

She continued: “Places we have spent our childhoods growing up, places we live are unbearable.

“When the locals have to leave their homes because of the influx of tourists, there is a problem.”

Jonathan F Dean argued: “The new regulation is quite simple, if you claim to be a letting business, you must be at least 50 percent let.

“Business thrives on performance targets and I’m sure the genuine businesses will rise to the challenge.”

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