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Relief for Scotland’s Marine Leisure Sector as Visitor Levy Bill Amended

13th March 2024
Boats moored in Scottish waters
In its original drafting, the Visitor Levy Bill counted boat moorings and berthings under its definition of accommodation that would be subject to levies at the discretion of Scotland’s local authorities

The Scottish Government’s Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill that would have forced marinas and other mooring providers to charge a levy on visitor accommodation — including mooring and berthing for boats — has now been amended.

As previously reported on, concerns were raised among Scotland’s marine tourism and leisure sector over the potential impact of the draft legislation, which had “boat moorings or berthings” alongside hotels, camping sites and B&Bs as types of accommodation where the Visitor Levy would have to be charged.

After their appeals were heard by Holyrood in January this year, the amendment was made official on Tuesday (12 March).

Sarah Kennedy, chair of British Marine Scotland said: “We appreciate all the support we have received to help bring about this change, most especially from the Cross Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism and its convenor, Stuart McMillan MSP, who tabled the critical amendment.”

British Marine chief executive Lesley Robinson added: “This is a great example of how important it is for government to engage with industry to fully understand its complexities and ensure legislation is as pro-business as possible.

“We are grateful that, in this case, the minister heeded our warnings and I hope this will prove helpful to any other government considering introducing similar legislation.”

The Bill, as amended on 12 March, will now proceed through its final parliamentary stage.

Published in Scottish Waters Team

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