The Cavendish London Hosts Tourism Industry VAT Roundtable

The Cavendish London is continuing its support for the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, by hosting a Roundtable discussion today (15 January), which brings together senior industry leaders including the British Hospitality Association and Members of Parliament.  The debate will look at how best to advance the case for a reduced rate of VAT for the tourism sector before the next General Election.

The aim of the campaign is to lobby government to reduce the rate of VAT for leisure travellers from 20% to 5%.  Last summer The Cavendish was the first hotel in the UK to simulate the proposed lower rate of VAT on its room rates during the summer months. The VAT promotional rate ran from 25 July to 8 September 2013.

The industry’s on-going campaign to reduce the rate of hospitality VAT is the solution to support long-term and sustainable growth for the UK economy. Independent research, using HM Treasury’s own economic model, shows that a VAT cut would have massive benefits, driving the economy by £4 billion in new revenue into the UK, it would not cost the Government anything and would save consumers an average £50 per head on visitor accommodation and attractions.[1]

General Manager for The Cavendish London, Neil Braude says: “We are fervent supporters of this campaign and so to organise and host today’s crucial discussion with key Members of Parliament and representatives from the UK travel industry was a chance we could not miss.

“We are passionate about continuing the debate in order to provide our guests, and other visitors to London, with a more affordable stay. The aim of simulating a reduction in VAT on our leisure rates during the summer was to promote the impact an increase in leisure stays will have on the hospitality industry.  Ultimately we hope the Government will get behind this campaign.”

Graham Wason, Chairman of Cut Tourism VAT says: “With support for the campaign growing across the country this roundtable provides a great opportunity to bring leading supporters from industry and Parliament together. The year 2014 will witness intensive constituency engagement aimed at making this a high profile issue in forthcoming elections.”

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association says: “The hospitality and tourism industry is a successful one but that success cannot be taken for granted.  The BHA and its members see reducing Tourism VAT as a key priority for increasing international competitiveness, and hospitality and tourism businesses across the UK have taken a proactive and leading role in engaging with their local MPs.”

Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments says: “Between 2006 and 2011 the UK lost market share in 28 out of its top 33 markets by visitor volume. Treasury Ministers need to wake-up and let the UK tourism sector compete on a level playing field with our European competitors.”

More than twenty Members of Parliament and UK travel industry leaders are participating in the Roundtable including Graham Wason, Chair for the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, Margaret Ritchie MP, Sir Bob Russell MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Paul Maynard MP, Dermot King, Director Bourne Leisure, Ufi Ibrahim, British Hospitality Association and Neil Braude, General Manager The Cavendish London.

[1] Copies of research available on request.

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