A NEW policy on tourism is being proposed by the City of Edinburgh Council to provide greater balance to meet the needs of residents and visitors to the capital.

The policy, which also emphasises the need for Edinburgh to make more of its role as a gateway to the city region and the rest of Scotland, will be discussed at the Corporate Policy and Strategy meeting of the Council next week.

When agreed the policy will help to shape Edinburgh’s new Tourism Strategy which is being developed in partnership with Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG).

A report outlining the impact of short-term lets across Edinburgh will also be discussed at the meeting next week. The report details what the Council is doing to combat the issue as well as the launch of the Scottish Government consultation on the introduction of a regulatory system which the Council fully supports.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “We have a responsibility to manage that impact while promoting the jobs and cultural opportunities that tourism provides.

“We’ve already done a huge amount of work with the Scottish Government to bring in new legislation to protect the vibrant and distinctive character of the city that we all know and love.

“To help us protect the needs of our residents and continue to offer visitors the best possible experience we can we’ve made our case to the Scottish Government for a Tourist Levy.

“We’re also working with the Scottish Government on the introduction of a regulatory system for short term lets to help us deal with the impact this is having on our communities, which the Government are now

taking forward through a consultation.

McVey added that tourism provides 35,000 local jobs and contributes £1.5bn to the economy every year.