Why your Wales holidays are about to get more expensive

HOLIDAYS in Wales could be about to get more expensive as new laws are being brought in for second homeowners – which is likely to be passed onto tourists.

The government is clamping down on holiday lets by tripling the tax owners could pay.

Around 23,000 second homes and empty properties currently pay a maximum level of council tax of 100 per cent – this will be upped to 300 per cent from April next year, with individual councils able to decide on the exact amount.

Not only that but the properties must be let for at least 182 days a year, up from 70 days.

Some holiday rental owners in Wales have slammed the move, claiming they will have to sell their properties.

One woman said her 21-bed holiday let wouldn't be able to make money due to the new tax rules, and due to its remote location, wouldn't be able to be let for the 182 days.

Margaret Bardsley, who owns Gaer Hall in Guilsfield, told local media it was "not going to work," as she faced up to £8,000 extra a year.

She added: “If properties like ours become liable for the 300 per cent council tax premium, it will decimate the tourism sector in Wales.

“This is a sector worth £2.8bn to the economy, around eight per cent of the country’s GDP.”

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This means holidaymakers are likely to have to cover the extra costs, with bookings likely to go up in price in response.

Despite this, many locals see it as a positive move, after many popular regions have become "ghost towns" due to holiday rentals taking over local rentals.

One local told North Wales Live: "Sorry to have to say this but people are having to leave their families to find places to live as second homes are being left empty till owners decide to come for the weekend or a week's holiday."

Someone else added: "What we have to remember is that normal working people don't have second homes. It is only people who have a huge surplus of spare money in the bank."

Another person said it was making it "hard for locals" to get on the property ladder, and resulting in "ghost towns in winter time".

A resident who lives in Rhosneigr posted a video of the empty streets last month, writing: "These houses should be alive with the activity of families after school.

"Instead they sit here lifeless. I tried to count all the soulless houses in my village, stopped when I hit 100. We don’t need to build more houses. We need to use these."


It isn't the only part of the country which has struggled with a huge boom in holiday homes.

Popular tourist regions in Cornwall have seen a surge in homeowners selling their properties as rentals due to the UK staycation boom.

A report last month found that there were 15,000 holiday lets across Cornwall – around the same amount of people on the social housing waiting list in the region.

Some hotspots such as Newquay were found to have 20 times more holiday lets than homes to rent -a resident found 252 holiday homes while there were just 22 for sale, while one was to rent.

And Staithes, a coastal village in North Yorkshire, reported just 20 per cent of homes were owned by locals.

It isn't the only change that could make a holiday to Wales more expensive for tourists.

The country is also looking to introduce a new tourist tax for all overnight visitors to help pay for local services.

This includes keeping beaches clean, maintaining parks and building new footpaths.

The Welsh Government hasn't confirmed how much the tourist tax would be it goes ahead but will start the proposals from autumn 2022.

Here are some other countries which could soon cost you more to visit.

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