Little in Budget to support the tourism sector

The Tourism Alliance has responded to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.

Richard Toomer, the Tourism Alliance Executive Director, said

“In broad terms sadly there was nothing in this Budget to help address the UK’s position as the 116th out of 117 price competitive tourism destinations according to the World Economic Forum.

“While we welcome the freeze in alcohol duty and the permanent tax relief for theatres, galleries, museums and orchestras, sadly there were lots of other missed opportunities.

“No restoration of VAT-free shopping means we will continue to miss out from being the greatest shopping destination in Europe able to the benefit to long-haul travellers and Europeans alike.

“Nothing on business rates increases due in April and – as ever with rates – the continued issue of them falling disproportionately on tourism and hospitality businesses.

“Despite assiduous and high-profile campaigning from many in the industry for a lower VAT rate for hospitality, none was forthcoming.

“Air Passenger Duty will go up on all non-economy  tickets this year by up to 11% – doubling down on a tax which is already the highest in Europe.

“And the abolition of the Furnished Holiday Lets scheme will likely mean a reduction of holiday properties in some key destinations – an aim of many of the supporters of its abolition. But this will have a knock-on impact on the many local businesses and workers who rely on tourists visiting their areas.”



  • The UK is 116th out of 117 countries for tourism price competitive according to the World Economic Forum, Travel & Tourism Development Index 2021: Rebuilding for a Sustainable and Resilient Future

Published: 6 March 2024

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