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26 Oct 2017

Tourism Alliance says change to Package Travel Directive would generate £2.2bn

The Tourism Alliance has called on the government to introduce a policy it says could generate up to £2.2bn in expenditure, create 40,000 new jobs and reduce the cost of domestic holidays for UK consumers.

The new EU Package Travel Directive, which the UK will implement by July 2018, will be, according to the Tourism Alliance, “detrimental” because of poor drafting surrounding the definition of ‘package’.

Under the new directive, a package holiday is defined as the purchasing from one supplier of two out of three services – accommodation, transport, or another tourism service. According to the draft, if a B&B, guesthouse or hotel provides a value-added product, such as tickets to a local attraction, they are then deemed a tour operator and are therefore legally responsible for all parts of the product.

As a result, the Tourism Alliance says that the 170,000 micro-businesses and SMEs that make up the UK’s domestic tourism industry will be at “significant risk”, meaning many accommodation providers will not offer value-added products, with consumers ultimately paying higher prices. The Alliance also says that according to its own research, the change would increase tourism revenue by an average of 9 per cent, equating to £2.2bn.

“By leaving the EU our government has the opportunity to remove unnecessary EU red tape which is proving detrimental to the UK domestic tourism market,” said Kurt Janson, Tourism Alliance director.

“The government is currently in the process of translating EU Package Travel Directive into UK law and we urge them to address the definition of 'package', a change that would generate billions for the UK economy and stimulate job creation.

“It’s imperative that the UK continues to be a welcoming and competitive tourism destination, and the added-value propositions provided by our accommodation providers help to ensure this.”

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