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  1. ITV Report

Is it time to start taxing tourists in London?

London hotel owners were today said to be furious after mayor Sadiq Khan backed the idea of a tourist tax.

Credit: PA

The proposal came in a City Hall report calling on ministers to devolve great tax-raising powers to Mr Khan.

Visitors would pay a surcharge on their hotel bills. The mayor also wants a share of the government's airports' tax, known as Air Passenger Duty.

Hotel trade body The British Hospitality Association described the bed tax as a 'absolute folly'.

Tourism is worth £36bn to London's economy every year, employing 700,000 people.

If you've been overseas whether it's Paris or New York or elsewhere a small percentage of the bill you pay, it's something like one per cent, goes towards the municipal authorities improving the environment, making it better for tourists and more attractive. It's not a question of clobbering anybody.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

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Among the hotel industry they are absolutely furious. They already see the shared economy in the shape of Airbnb potentially costing them millions and the prospect in the report of a levy as high as 5% would simply, they say, price London out of the tourist market.

– ' SIMON CALDER, TRAVEL EDITOR, THE INDEPENDENT