Tory London mayor hopeful pushes for tourist tax

Tory London mayor hopeful pushes for tourist tax

A tourist tax could bring in £400 million for London, according to Conservative mayoral candidate Ivan Massow.

There should be a charge a rate of £1 per star, per night stayed in a hotel in the capital, he believes.

“We’re almost one of the only cities that don’t have it. Berlin, Rome, Paris – they all have it,” Massow told City A.M.

“Ours [would be] tailored to protect people who go hostelling and need affordable accommodation.”

Rome charges €3 (£2.20) per night for a five-star hotel; charges reach up to €1.50 in Paris; and hotels in New York must add $2 (£1.30) to their bills on top of a higher sales tax.

Massow believes London could raise £400 million a year with funds directed to a variety of areas including children’s hospices and more air ambulances.

But the industry fears such a tax could put off visitors.

“Any additional tax on top of the existing 20% VAT, which is almost the highest in Europe, would directly discourage international tourists from visiting London,” Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said.

Massow is in the running to take over from Boris Johnson as mayor of London.

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