Hotel Coverage Puts Tourist Tax Under The Knife

by Catriona Conway-Mortimer

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Steering the Narrative: Persuasive Charity PR Yields Impactful Media

Collage of coverage achieved about Surgeons Quarter losing thousands due to tourist tax

WHEN all else fails, powerful and effective media relations can make things move. 

As the City of Edinburgh Council progressed with plans to implement a £2 a night tourist tax levy, our client Surgeons Quarter is set to suffer a loss of £40,000 annually.

As the operators of Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel, Ten Hill Place and the commercial arm of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), it puts profits back into the College, which uses it for training, research and improving access to surgery across the world.

Surgeons who travel to Edinburgh to deliver training, attend and host conferences and sit exams on campus are accommodated in Ten Hill Place Hotel and, as members of the College who are in the city doing valuable work, Surgeons Quarter absorbs the cost of their stay, earning its money instead via everyday hotel guests.

Adding an extra £2 onto the stay of the thousands of surgeons put up by the hotel would set Surgeons Quarter back an estimated £40,000pa – something that caused deep concern to the charity organisation. 

Despite making clear its unique situation in responses to both consultation papers about the proposed tourist tax, there had been no engagement from the City of Edinburgh Council or the Scottish Government.

So, we crafted an emotive and thought-provoking release about how the council was set to take thousands of pounds from a well-respected city organisation.

The release ultimately led to the council reaching out to Surgeons Quarter to facilitate a high-level meeting. 

Coverage highlights included:

  • National broadcast coverage on BBC Radio 5 Live 
  • Scottish national coverage in print and online in The National
  • Regional coverage in Edinburgh Evening News and the Edinburgh Reporter – crucial for reaching local politicians and stakeholders
  • Trade coverage in Hotel News Scotland 
  • 258,904 opportunities to see

Scottish PR photograph of Surgeons Quarte Managing Director Surgeons Quarter, Scott MitchellRead how Scott Mitchell, MD of Surgeons Quarter feels the new tourist tax is a step too far – and in the case of Ten Hill Place Hotel will see it rob the hotel of £40,000 – money that the charitable organisation could otherwise be putting towards advancing surgical care around the world.


Our recent work further demonstrates the power of a press release, which when timed and toned correctly, can influence decision-making in a near instant.

Are you interested in Charity PR, or finding out about how our experts can help your organisation?

Give us a call on 0131 561 2244 or fill in the handy form below and one of the team will get straight back to you:

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer, account executive with Holyrood PR in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Catriona Conway-Mortimer is part of the award-winning PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

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