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TOURISM Industry calls for reduced VAT

Representatives of the tourism industry have called for a VAT reduction to boost exports and halt the decline in key mar- kets and have made a submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer ahead of the Autumn Statement. The Campaign for Reduced Tourism

VAT represents more than 3,500 individual establishments in the hospitality sector and more than 40 national and regional associ- ations. Te campaign seeks a level playing field with the UK’s tourism competitors in the EU which applies VAT at reduced rates. Recent research on tourism VAT, using

The potential of tourism to the UK

KURT JANSON is policy director of Tourism Alliance

Te tourism industry is looking for VAT breaks for exports

the Treasury’s economic model, found that a reduction for accommodation and attractions would be revenue neutral and contribute an additional £4bn each year to the UK’s economy. Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin

Entertainments, commented: “The gov- ernment is currently promoting its export credentials but has failed to recognise that tourism is an export sector. It has loaded tour- ism taxes, such as VAT, and increased other

barriers to a point where we are now losing market share to our rivals.” Tourism is one of only a limited number of

goods and services for which the EU allows member states to apply a reduced rate and the majority of nations do this because it makes their tourism industry more competitive, encouraging growth in the sector. Tourism in the UK is the sixth-largest export earner and the only sector which has its exports subject to VAT. Details:

UKinbound CEO leaving to head up charity organisation

Te CEO of trade association UKinbound, Mary Rance, has announced her departure from the organisation at the end of the year in order to head up charity Contact the Elderly. Rance has been at UKinbound since 2008 and is widely recognised for helping the

association to grow into one of the leading trade bodies in tourism. “Naturally I am sad to be leaving

UKinbound but glad to be leaving the organ- isation in such good shape,” said Rance. Details:

England a key driver to UK tourism growth

A new report from Deloitte – Tourism: jobs and growth – outlines England’s central role in driv- ing the future growth of tourism in the UK. Worth £106bn and supporting 2.6 million

jobs, English tourism is said to be key to an industry which has grown faster than manu- facturing, construction and retail. England’s tourism economy accounts for

8.8 per cent of the country’s GDP and 9.4 per cent of employment. Both the value of the sector and employment levels have grown in recent years, outperforming the wider economy which the report says further dem- onstrates the resilience of the industry during times of economic hardship. For the first time, the report provides analysis


isitBritain has published the results of a new comprehensive piece of research by Deloitte on the value of tourism to the UK economy and

its potential for growth over the next 12 years and the results are quite startling. Te modelling undertaken by Deloitte pre-

dicts that inbound tourism to the UK will grow at an average of 6 per cent a year over the next 12 years – from the projected £21bn in 2013 to £57bn by 2025. However, the report points out that it is possible that inbound tourism reve- nue could significantly exceed this prediction. Te UK is underperforming other European destinations in winning visitors from the main emerging growth markets such as China and India due to a range of policies which represent a barrier to attracting visitors from these coun- tries. Visa requirements, Air Passenger Duty and VAT combine to increase the cost of add- ing the UK to a European holiday by around £1,000 per family of four. Te outcome of which is that while Chinese

outbound has increased by 40 million per annum over the past five years, the UK only receives 45,000 more Chinese visitors each year and while Indian outbound tourism has increased by 5.5 million over the same period, the number coming to the UK has increased by just 3,000 per annum. Tis is a woeful per- formance in these markets and is in complete contrast with mainland Europe where the free- dom of movement provided by a Schengen visa, combined with lower APD and VAT rates is seeing tourism from emerging markets boom. To address this, the report lays out an alter-

Te tourism industry is worth £70bn outside of London However, while for many international visitors

for London and the rest of England separately, highlighting the importance of the industry throughout the whole of England. Outside of London, tourism is worth £70bn

and supports 1.9 million jobs, demonstrating the importance of the sector to much of the country.


London will be their first and sometimes only port of call, the report shows what it calls the ‘mas- sive’ opportunity the rest of England has to use the capital’s international draw to inspire inbound visitors to explore destinations outside of London. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps

native future where the UK adopts policies which seek to address this issue and is as suc- cessful as its European competitors in gaining visitors from emerging markets. Under this sce- nario, the value of inbound tourism to the UK economy by 2025 could be increased by a fur- ther £12bn (to £69bn). Te £12bn in additional expenditure is not

an insubstantial amount – it’s equivalent to the entire annual drug bill for the NHS. Te ability to generate it simply by intro-

ducing policies that make the UK a more welcoming destination has got to represent one of the best returns on investment that the government could achieve.

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