THE Welsh Government will go ahead with plans to charge a visitor levy for tourists who stay overnight.

Tourists will pay a small fee if they are staying overnight in hotels, Airbnbs or bed and breakfasts, similar to charges already in place in more than 40 destinations such as Greece, France, Amsterdam, Barcelona and the US state of California.

A survey by the Labour-led Welsh Government published today found two thirds of Welsh residents living in holiday areas back the tourism tax.

But members of the tourism industry have said now is not the time to impose the tax in case it deters visitors who are already cutting back on holidays due to higher bills.

More than 1,000 people, including tourist businesses, responded to a public consultation about how the levy should be brought in. Only 13 per cent of respondents said tourists should not contribute towards the cost of maintaining areas they stay in.

How much visitors could be charged has not yet been decided, but finance minister Rebecca Evans previously said it would be a “small contribution” that would go towards maintaining local amenities such as beaches, pavements, parks, toilets and footpaths.

She is expected to confirm plans for the levy today and legislation will be put to the Senedd within this government term.

Ms Evans said: “As the Easter break approaches and many parts of Wales prepare to welcome visitors from around the world, it’s more important than ever that we look to create a sustainable tourism sector that also supports local communities.

“Over the coming years, we will continue to work with businesses, local government and all our partners to design a levy that will put power into the hands of local communities.

“We understand some businesses have reservations about a visitor levy and I am grateful to all those who took the time to respond to our consultation.”

Proposals for a visitor levy have been progressed through the Welsh Government’s co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru designated member Cefin Campbell said: “We want Wales to have a thriving, sustainable tourism sector and the visitor levy will play a part in achieving this.

“Our aim is to develop responsible tourism that works both for visitors and for the communities they are visiting.

“Local authorities will be able to introduce a small contribution from visitors enjoying their area to help develop and protect local services and infrastructure.”