Tourist tax in London: TFL could be financed by a tourist tax for international visitors | Travel News | Travel

Professor Tony Travers from the London School of Economics told the London Assembly that a council tax could bring the city hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

He suggested any money earned could be used to fund TFL and to help the city operate the extensive network.

TFL’s revenues have collapsed during the pandemic and have yet to fully recover. A tourist tax could be a solution to the financing gap.

Professor Travers suggested that a tourist tax of a few pounds a night for international tourists could produce long-term funding for TFL.

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If every international tourist paid around £2.50 more per night in tourist tax, London would earn around £102million a year.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Chairman of TFL said: “Without a long-term funding agreement, TFL will have to prepare for further painful cuts to London’s transport network.”

At present, the tourist tax is only a proposal and the tourist taxes are generally a controversial issue.

Some people think they can be a useful way to fund a city’s essential services while others think taxes can discourage international tourists.


Over 20 million international tourists visited London in 2018 and it is one of the most visited cities in the world.

The city has struggled to recover its numbers during the pandemic, and many hospitality venues have lost revenue.

Tourists spent over £2 trillion in London in 2019, although that amount fell to £409 million in 2020.

However, the number of international tourists is now on the rise, showing a steady increase since July 2021.

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The UK is an exception in Europe when it comes to tourist taxes, as many European countries have chosen to implement one.

Taxes are normally implemented on a regional basis, with regions in Spain such as Barcelona and the Balearic Islands running their own tax systems.

In 2007, a tourism tax was proposed to the UK government, but the recommendations were rejected.

A number of other UK destinations have considered introducing a levy, including Bath, Cornwall and Liverpool.

Wales is currently considering introducing a tourist tax to provide additional funding for honeypot areas.

The tax would apply to overnight stays in the country and the decision would be left to local authorities.

The money raised could be used to clean beaches, maintain public restrooms or keep trails in good condition.

The Welsh Tourism Alliance said the extra cost could discourage low-income visitors from traveling to Wales for a holiday.

A proposed tourist tax for Benidorm has also proved controversial, with officials vowing never to enforce it.

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