People in Edinburgh are being asked their views on plans for a tourist tax in the capital. 

Edinburgh council is exploring proposals for a charge on all overnight stays in the city, which could generate millions for the local economy.

Launching today, a new survey on the 'visitor levy' will be used to develop a formal public consultation in spring 2024. 

It will ask people their thoughts on whether the tax should be charged as a percentage of a stay or as a fixed rate, for instance £2 per night.

Read more: Herald poll: Should a tourist tax be introduced in Scotland?

According to the council, the questionnaire follows the same format to market research carried out in 2018 which showed "strong support" for the introduction of a levy in the city.

Since then, Edinburgh’s proposals have been developed further alongside the long-awaited Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill, which was introduced to Parliament in May.

The Bill means Scotland may be the first place in the UK to legislate for a tourist tax next year, giving local authorities the ability to introduce charges like the ones already in place across European cities. 

Edinburgh council leader Cammy Day said: "A levy presents a major opportunity for us to generate millions of pounds in additional revenue to support, sustain and develop the city and our visitor economy – just as so many other major cities do so successfully."

Councillor Day said there is "overwhelming support" for the tourist tax in Edinburgh, with 85% of people backing it in the 2018 survey.

Read more: Visit Scotland backs visitor tax which could raise £118m a year

He spoke of the need to balance visitor numbers, which are edging back up towards pre-pandemic levels.

Councillor Day said: "We need to continue to manage the impacts of tourism while investing in everything that makes our city such a great place to visit and to live.

"A lot has changed since we last sought views from our residents and visitors. We want to make sure our assumptions are up to date and we’re giving everyone the chance to shape our proposals. Please take this chance to have your say.”

The council said it has engaged with the Edinburgh Hotels Association (EHA) and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) over the plans.

Read more: Airbnb warns tourist tax risks vitality of industry after licensing

A series of one-to-one and group meetings with local and national tourism groups and other local government officials are also taking place.

Donald Emslie, chair of ETAG, said: “As the national legislation to introduce a visitor levy is progressed, it is essential that there are early and ongoing discussions to ensure that the levy proposals for Edinburgh are introduced effectively and achieve the aim of managing the growth of the city’s thriving visitor economy, benefiting businesses, residents and visitors.”

You can take part in the survey on the Edinburgh council website. It will be open until Friday 17 January 2024