TOURISM leaders will be warned to move on so-called over-tourism as the Scottish capital prepares to tackle the tourist tax question.

The call comes as the Scottish capital hosts tourism leaders from around the world at the Edinburgh Tourism Action Group conference which will broach how to manage increasing numbers of visitors and issues such as the tourist tax championed by Edinburgh City Council.

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Speaking to The Herald ahead of her keynote address at the conference, Geerte Udo, director of Amsterdam Marketing, said the famous tourist city has moved to maintain normality is neighbourhoods in the face of over-tourism, an issue affecting Edinburgh as well as other parts of Scotland like Skye, the island inundated by swarming visitors in recent tourist seasons.

She said: "The main thing that I will point out at the conference is that over-tourism is a very serious topic that we started considering the negative effects for tourism in 2014 for the first time and we had some trials and errors and we learned some lessons.

"We don’t have the solution, unfortunately.

"The negative effects can be multiple and can be different in each city."

The Herald:

However, ways of tackling over-tourism in Amsterdam include restricting platforms like Airbnb to a month a year with bans in some entire buildings, and managing visitors to the Red Light district.

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She continued: "We have a lot of new legislation so we have very clear rules on the use of Airbnb for instance.

"You are only allowed to rent out your house if it is your own house and not rented or social housing.

"Now it is 60 days and it will go down to 30 days a year maximum, and only to a maximum of four people, so no big groups."

The Herald:

Robin Worsnop, ETAG chairman, said: "In terms of retaining our status the industry needs to create ways to ensure that they remain of high value so it is in their interests to try and manage the numbers that do come."

Amsterdam charges six per cent on city centre rooms and four per cent on other districts and will raise £70 million (80m euros) in 2018 this way with its version called the city tax, which has being going since 1999.

It is estimated tourist taxes could raise £15m (17 euros) a year in Edinburgh.

The Scottish capital is also considering introducing a day-tripper tax as part of its tourist levy scheme in a move similar one being considered in Amsterdam.

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It is one way of widening the burden beyond hoteliers who have opposed the tax on room prices.

The Herald: Edinburgh City Council group leader Adam McVey. Photograph: Gordon Terris

Adam McVey, council leader, said: "We remain committed to securing the powers to levy a tourist tax.

“Edinburgh attracts four million visitors each year who bring investment, diversity and energy to our city but they also bring a cost in terms of the impact on our core services.

“In the coming weeks, we will share a business case in support of a levy, encouraging a clear, balanced and thoughtful debate with industry leaders, considering the merits and disadvantages of every option.”