Letters / A SIC travel tax?

Flushed with their success of closing public toilets at our busiest tourist spots, Shetland Islands Council is contemplating a further attack on our tourist industry.

This time they are looking at a policy of discrimination against tourists travelling on inter-island ferries by charging them a higher fare than Shetland residents.

How would the SIC administer and implement such a scheme? Presumably visitors arriving in Shetland will have to register at the airport and ferry terminal with SIC officials who will enter their details into a database.

This database will then be available to ferry crews who will question all passengers as to their identity and check their details against this database.

I’m sure this is all legal and that the ferry crew will have the right to interrogate passengers who will be refused passage if they refuse to answer.

So how will the SIC define a tourist? Someone who is here on holiday? Someone who is here on business? Someone who used to live on Shetland and is visiting and staying with relatives? Will all of these have to pay the SIC’s travel tax?


Perhaps the SIC plan to issue identity cards to all Shetland residents and if you can’t produce this on demand you will be classed as a ‘tourist’.

Yes, this sounds like yet another short-sighted SIC scheme to spend a pound to save a penny, or perhaps they are just going through the motions on this scheme at the moment.

Allen Fraser

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