Tag Archives: tourism

Making British tourism work for everyone

Suppose you could create more jobs for young people and give them a springboard to a satisfying career. Suppose you could spread wealth all around Britain, especially in left behind regions. Suppose you could attract more money from overseas, just when the Conservatives are trying to barricade Britain.

In Bournemouth, you have the opportunity to endorse a blueprint to do just that. Sitting behind the motion Open Britain – policies to support the UK tourism industry is a detailed ‘spokesperson’s paper’, with a whole set of proposals to give tourism the attention in government that it deserves.

The critical …

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Eluned Parrott AM writes…Tourism tax reduction will boost economy and create jobs

Tourism is a major part of our economy, and one of the few industries which truly covers the whole of the UK. There isn’t a single Parliamentary seat which doesn’t benefit from tourism and it’s a sector with great potential for growth.

As Liberal Democrats I believe we should use the levers at our disposal to stimulate the economy and create opportunities for people to get on in life, no matter where they live. That is why, as a group of local parties from across the UK, we have brought this motion to conference. By reducing VAT to 5% for tourism businesses – bringing the UK into line with most of our European neighbours – we could do exactly that.

British tourism is at a competitive disadvantage, being perceived as an expensive holiday destination when compared to other EU countries. The impact of this on our tourism businesses is that it encourages UK customers to holiday abroad and deters visitors to the UK.

But price sensitivity in the tourism industry also acts in subtler ways. With UK hotels seen as more expensive than continental ones, visitors to Europe from the US and Far East spend less time here, ticking off the major sights in London and never stepping beyond the capitol. The higher upfront cost of staying here means that businesses in other parts of the UK don’t benefit, and those visitors that do come spend less in restaurants, shops and visitor attractions because they simply aren’t here very long.

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Conference Countdown 2015: Cutting VAT for tourism would be a costly mistake

In the run-up to Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, we’ll be looking ahead to examine the highlights in the debating hall, the fringe and training rooms. You can find the papers here. You can find all the posts in the series here.

One of the motions at conference is for reducing VAT on tourism as far as possible. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

The idea is to reduce VAT on hotels and selected attractions from the standard rate of 20% to 5% – the minimum allowed by the EU. This is something the British Hospitality Association has been lobbying the Treasury on for years. The motion refers to the importance of tourism more generally, with figures that include all restaurants, pubs and outbound flights, amongst other things, but I assume its VAT proposal is (mercifully) more limited.

The government’s response to this lobbying (under both Labour and the Coalition of which we were a part) has been to point to the substantial price tag. The cost of cutting VAT for accommodation alone would be £2 billion a year, with amusement parks and similar adding another £200 million. This is serious money. A comparable total would be the cost of the Pupil Premium that Lib Dems fought so hard to introduce.

Posted in Conference, Events and News | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

Charles Kennedy MP writes: UK’s Air Passenger Duty is damaging our economy

The eyes of the world are now on the UK for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We have heard a lot about the legacy of the Games, in terms of the rejuvenation of East London and getting more children into sport, but we also have a fantastic opportunity to create an economic legacy right across the UK. From my perspective, as a Highlands and Islands MP, we want all those visiting or watching the Games to see the beauty of our rugged coastline and mountains and be inspired to visit the outstanding beauty of the whole of the UK, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments
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