At the UKinbound Parliamentary Reception, Hugo Swire MP, Shadow Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, announced that his Party is opposed to the introduction of a “bed tax”. Responding to concerns voiced by Philip Green, UKinbound Chairman, Mr Swire stated that: “It is now official Conservative Party policy to oppose the introduction of a “bed tax”; it would be a devastating blow for UK tourism putting jobs at risk and would be catastrophic for rural economies.”
The “bed tax”, has been proposed as an option in the Interim Report of the Lyons Inquiry into local government funding and would be seriously detrimental to the UK’s tourism industry. UKinbound’s research into the total tax take from overseas visitors shows that a minimum of 35p in every pound spent by visitors in the UK is swallowed up in tax and this punitive level of visitor taxation, the third highest in the world, has destroyed the country’s international competitiveness and decimated inward investment.
Speaking about the announcement, Stephen Dowd, UKinbound Chief Executive, said: “It is wonderful that the Conservative Party chose our event to announce its formal opposition to the “bed tax”. We now call upon the other major political parties to add their support for the industry by making it clear that this dreadful proposal will never be implemented. However, it is important that UKinbound and our industry colleagues continue to voice our opposition to any additional taxation of our visitors.”