I would like the government to look at the impact of cutting VAT for the tourism industry because I think it could boost trade and support our local economy. This plan could create jobs and bring further investment – I’d like to see the government really look into this plan. I am also lobbying the government to advertise the Lake District more and make sure we are an ‘attack brand’ for UK tourism.
Tim Farron MP (Lib Dem), Westmorland & Lonsdale
Thousands of people working in tourism in the UK are working really hard to continuously demonstrate that domestic holidays are a fantastic alternative to going abroad. Knowing however that for every £100 we charge £20 goes to VAT, compared to £7 in France or £10 in Spain means we’re fighting with one hand tied behind our backs, and that seems hugely unfair. And I am convinced it ultimately costs our economy a lot of money too.
Ruud Jansen Venneboer of Mazzard Farm holiday cottages, Devon
Over the past few years we’ve noticed a real shift in attitude towards leisure in this country. More than ever, people are wanting to make the most of every moment of their spare time. Eating out, mini breaks and experiences are all part of that. What we’re learning, however, is because of the UK’s high rate of tourism VAT that the costs simply don’t stack up and it’s actually cheaper for people to find these experiences abroad than at home. This is crazy.
Karl Jones, General Manager of Moshimo Restaurant, Brighton
Tourism is one of the most important industries in the country, a fact acknowledged by successive Prime Ministers.
However, the Treasury appear blind to the extraordinary opportunities which a reduced level of VAT on tourism products bring to the British economy.
Not only would the Staycation concept develop rapidly but there are millions of foreign tourists who percive the UK is extremely expensive and would be encouraged to visit here should VAT see a reduction.
David Cam, company secretary and director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach
With the recent spell of hot weather [in July 2013] we’ve seen an increase in the number of visitors coming to Bath. We’ve also noticed a real shift in attitude – more than ever, people are wanting to holiday at home and make the most of the sunshine. What we’re learning, however, is that the costs simply don’t stack up and it’s actually cheaper to go abroad than holiday at home. This is crazy.
Laurence Beere, Proprietor of The Queensberry Hotel & Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath
VAT is one of the greatest challenges to the development of the Hospitality Sector in Northern Ireland. Our shared land border with the ROI who have benefited from a lower rate makes competitiveness a real challenge for the Northern Ireland industry.
Janice Gault, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation
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