Motorhomes: taxes could be imposed on motorhome owners following the rise in popularity
A spokesperson for the Council for the Outer Hebrides, or Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said the move would see visitors making a “small contribution” to the upkeep of the services they use. The confirmation of the potential tax comes as motorhomes and motorhomes are taking up space on the ferry deck and are not contributing significantly to the economy of the Outer Hebrides.
It comes after the announcement that CalMac, the main ferry operator in Scotland, would ban caravans from their queues.
Local participants are invited to participate in the consultations, with the Scottish Government and CalMac also being consulted.
The Scottish government is introducing new legislation on a short-term tourist tax called the ‘transitional tourist tax’.
This would give local authorities the ability to tax tourists, thereby contributing to local infrastructure and services.
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Gigha Island, the southernmost island in the Hebrides, is one such region.
The island is also the location of Channel 4’s new police investigation show, Murder Island.
The program shows four groups of amateur detectives trying to solve the murder of a local woman who was killed on the island.
The island has a lot of presence and, despite having only 163 inhabitants, Gigha is looking to start its own RV park.
In an article posted on their Gigha Community Facebook page, they said: “The Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust is the community organization that manages the assets of the island on behalf of the community.
“Gigha Trading Limited, a subsidiary of the Trust, is developing a campsite and motorhome that will open in spring 2022.
“The Trust is keen to find a manager who can work with existing tourism businesses and confidence in this exciting opportunity to establish camp and RV area is one of the many tourism assets that digger has to offer.
“The position will be a salaried position with a share of commission.”
The site will be developed near the ferry terminal and is expected to be completed towards the end of 2021, with the hope of opening in spring 2022.
It will include serviced sites, parking, chemical waste disposal and an accommodation block including toilets, showers and a small reception desk.
There are currently no camping facilities on Gigha and although wild camping is permitted, visitors are urged to respect the environment and tidy up any rubbish or litter.
The island relies heavily on tourism, as well as ranching and fishing, but it is hoped that the RV park will boost the economy.