At the Scottish Tourism Conference in March 2016, a room of some 200 representatives were asked about Brexit – about 5 hands went up for ‘leave’. To the tourism leaders in Scotland at least, Brexit was clearly unwelcome, yet we are where we are and we should now focus on the opportunities that it may present.
Tourism receives a share of European money through infrastructure development, training courses, tourism projects under the Rural Leader scheme and so on. As the replacement for the Common Agricultural Policy is sought, there are bound to be effects for those running tourism and sporting enterprises, however modest. From issues round European labour to VAT rates and Air Passenger Duty, it looks like many doors are at least ajar. Brexit means an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and do things differently, so we are keeping an eye on this closely.
As members of the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group will be all too aware, the Sporting Rates relating to shooting and stalking rights will be reintroduced as part of the 2017 Revaluation. We work directly with the Assessors setting the framework for calculating self-catering rateable values, and are represented on the Scottish Ratepayers Forum, where together with Scottish Land and Estates we have raised concerns around the changes.
The Small Business Bonus scheme provides up to 100% rate relief for those with small rateable values. Many short-term letting businesses benefit, as may small country sport operations, but as the scheme aggregates rateable values, holiday accommodation businesses on land where there is shooting, or sporting estates where there is a holiday letting operation may suddenly find rates bills dropping through the letterbox if the combined rateable value tips over the threshold of the SBBS.
The ASSC is keen to promote self-catering as a perfect fit for guests wanting to take part in country sports in Scotland, and would be delighted to assist any SCTG member in promoting or marketing their offer.
The ASSC is dedicated to supporting self-catering in Scotland. Please let us know if we can help you!