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Government urged to give even stronger support for tourism in the UK

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee has today (Thurs 26th Mar) published a report which congratulates Britain’s tourist board, VisitBritain, on its successes so far while making recommendations to the government to strengthen the country’s position as a tourist destination even further.

The Committee suggests that reductions in VAT and Air Passenger Duty would help to encourage overseas visitors, and calls on the Government to make changes accordingly.

“VisitBritain has shown marked success in attracting overseas visitors, but should remain alert to the need to leverage even more the undoubted lure of London to bring more visitors to other parts of the United Kingdom,” the report states. “Tourism needs a stronger voice, and government should look at how the burden of regulation and taxation on the tourism industry could be lightened to boost its contribution even further.”

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) chief executive Mark Tanzer commented: “Today’s report published by the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee sets out some of the challenges ahead for the next government in unlocking tourism’s full potential. We welcome many of the Committee’s considered recommendations.

“The committee makes some important recommendations on Air Passenger Duty, visa rules, and business rates.

“ABTA is particularly pleased to see the committee’s recognition of the importance of the UK’s vibrant mix of inbound, outbound and domestic tourism businesses; ABTA has worked hard over the life of this Parliament to raise the profile of outbound tourism as an economic driver, and it is positive to see this influential committee recognise the value of outbound tourism, alongside inbound and domestic.”