Scotland has joined the rank of destinations looking for ways to deal with the ever-increasing number of cruise passengers visiting its shores. According to the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish government in partnership with local authorities, have agreed to a new tax to be levied on cruise ships visiting Scotland.
The goal of the tax is to support communities most impacted by cruise ship visits.
The Scottish Greens party also said it hopes the tax would encourage cruise companies to switch to zero emission vessels, though nothing was said about waiving the fee for zero-emission cruise ships. The government has not yet set a date for when the new tax would be implemented, nor announced what the tax amount will be.
Scotland has some 46 cruise ports, though many located on the islands (Orkneys, Inner and Outer Hebrides, etc.) are only visited by a handful of smaller ships. Cruise Scotland, a trade group dedicated to promoting Scotland as a cruise destination, predicts that one million passengers will visit the country this year.
Earlier this year, an Orkney Islands Council's Harbours Authority sub-committee granted permission for a cruise ship limit that would cap the number of cruise ship visitors permitted in two of the islands' main anchorages (Hatston Pier and Kirkwall Bay).