Cornwall could introduce new tourism tax for holidaymakers

Cornwall is a very popular staycation spot for Britons who want to remain in the UK during the holidays.

But the huge influx of tourists to the seaside county makes both an economic and environmental impact.

A committee report showed that Cornwall gets around four million holiday visitors and around 12 million day visitors per year showing the immense value of tourism to the local economy.

However, such tourism can also result in a “reduction in air quality, environmental degradation at popular sites, increased demand on services and congestion”.

In a meeting just days ago, Cornwall Council heard details of how these impacts could be improved and suggested the tourist tax.

Cornwall is a popular staycation spot


A tourism tax was one proposed initiative, one that Manchester has already imposed.

Those visiting the bustling city of Manchester will pay an additional £1 per night added to the cost of their room.

The additional fee will be capped at 21 successive days, however, for those who are enjoying longer stays.

It applies to those staying at 74 hotels and short-stay apartments in Manchester city centre and parts of Salford.

Cornwall Cllr Thomas said: “In terms of a tourist tax, which in my opinion hasn’t been referenced enough – there’s a fear that people will be against it.

“Manchester has demonstrated that people will not be negative when it’s actually put in place – £1 a night per person up to a maximum of 21 nights would bring in revenue that people in this Duchy would feel was paying for the facilities that people visiting are using.”

There is a chance that some holidaymakers would be put off by a tourism tax in Cornwall if they introduced a similar charge to Manchester.

Many may decide instead to visit UK areas that do not impose such a fee.

Beach in Cornwall

Swimmers and seaside enthusiasts from all over flock to Cornwall’s beautiful beaches


However, it would bring money into the economy to pay for the facilities visitors are using.

But the tourism tax wasn’t the only idea proposed at the meeting to reduce the negative impact of possible overtourism.

Another idea was that Cornwall Council should have more control over the short-term Airbnb-style holiday let market and how it impacts local housing.

A second recommendation was that schools and colleges across England could stagger their holiday periods to spread out when people can visit Cornwall, rather than have a huge influx during peak periods.

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