Cut Tourism VAT is campaigning for the rate of VAT on hospitality and tourism to be competitive with other destinations in Europe.
Until July 2020, the UK was one of only two countries in the whole of Europe not to take advantage of a reduced rate of VAT for visitor accommodation, and most countries reduce VAT also for visitor attractions and meals out. British families or international visitors choosing a British holiday were paying almost three times as much VAT compared to a French or German break, and twice as much as one in Italy and Spain.
In July 2020, VAT in the UK was reduced to 5% as a temporary emergency measure to save hospitality and tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis. The Cut Tourism VAT Campaign is calling for this cut to become permanent which would enable businesses to invest, stimulate sector growth and lead to enhanced tax revenues for Government.
The Campaign is a coalition of 35 major hospitality and tourism groups, 45 national and regional associations and 48,000 hospitality and tourism businesses employing 3.2 million people.
The Campaign is run by Graham Wason and Michael Nevin who were previously Partner and Managing Consultant respectively at Deloitte when they first worked together to assess the impact of reduced UK tourism VAT in 1993. They have worked together subsequently, completing some 30 assessments of the effect of reduced VAT on different sectors of industry, in geographic regions and with differential VAT rates throughout the UK.
Graham Wason set up a meeting of industry and association leaders on 1 March 2011 and founded the present Cut Tourism VAT Campaign. He was chairman from March 2011 until July 2015 when he handed over the chairmanship to Dermot King, then CEO of Butlins. He resumed the role of Chairman during the coronavirus crisis in 2020.
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