Independence would deliver “a huge boost” to rural tourism in Scotland, according to the SNP’s Highlands and Islands MSP Mike McKenzie.
Mr McKenzie says independence would pave the way for charges such as VAT, fuel duty and air passenger duty to be tailored to the advantage of the country’s hospitality and tourism sectors.
Mr MacKenzie, who sits on the Scottish Parliament’s economy, energy and tourism committee, said: “With control over VAT we could take the decision to tailor the charges faced by the hospitality and tourism sector, as so many of our European neighbours already do.
“With the power to make the relevant decisions in Scotland, we could address the disproportionate effect that sky-high fuel duty has on rural areas, for residents and visitors alike.
“Meanwhile, control over air passenger duty could allow us to create a tax regime which serves Scotland’s interests, bringing more visitors to Scotland’s shores.
“The things we could achieve for rural tourism with the powers of any normal nation show why it is far better for decisions affecting Scotland to be made by people one hundred per cent elected in Scotland.”
The hospitality and tourism sector accounts for nearly one in five jobs in the Highlands and Islands, compared to six per cent in the rest of Scotland.