Tax threat must be put to bed
It is ironic that at a time when agents have been attending in great numbers the Travel Weekly roadshows to promote UK tourism, there are political moves afoot that could wipe billions of pounds of the English tourist market by introducing a so-called bed tax.
The Government proposal to introduce a tax of up to 10% to help prop up local government funding has galvanised tourist authorities into action.
They are lobbying the Government to halt the move before it has even got started, predicting it would have a devastating impact on inbound as well domestic travel.
Figures as high as £1.3bn have been bandied about as an estimate of the potential loss in revenue if the tax, the subject of a Government inquiry, goes ahead.
Hoteliers would clearly be in the frontline of any tax hike, but the travel industry as a whole would suffer with an estimated 32,000 tourism jobs on the line if the 10% tax is introduced.
Party politics is now playing a role in the debate with the Conservatives this week promising to ditch any bed tax if they are returned to power.
Domestic travel, as our roadshows demonstrate, is a vital part of the overall travel industry and it is vital we play our part in supporting the local hospitality sector on this issue.
After all, it is the excellence and variety of accommodation at home that makes holidaying in the UK such an attractive proposition.
Travel Weekly is giving you the chance to have your say on this issue and support an anti-bed tax campaign launched by our sister title, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, the bible of the hospitality industry.
It has already got over 3,000 signatures to its “Say No To Bed Tax campaign” petition which it plans to send to Sir Michael Lyons who is heading up the local government inquiry.
It is also urging everyone in the travel sector to write to their local MP and make them aware of the damaging impact a bed tax would have on domestic tourism.
So why not make a stand for the English tourism sector and put your name to the list. Click here to visit Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s bed tax information page, or go directly to the petition and add your name.
Together we can make the Government think again.