This new publication shows that the UK tourism industry has grown by £18.5bn since 2016. This 14.5% growth brings the total expenditure by tourists in the UK to £149.5bn, making tourism one of the UKs largest and most successful industries.
Download UK Tourism Statistics 2019
While all other major European tourism destinations apply a Reduced Rate of VAT to tourism products (averaging 10.5%), the UK applies the Standard Rate of 20%. This puts the UK at a severe competitive disadvantage. Reducing VAT to 5% on accommodation and attractions will create 80,000 jobs and provide a return to the Exchequer of £2.6 billion over 10 years.
The UK's Air Passenger Duty (APD) has risen over 360% since 2007 and is now the highest passenger tax in the world. Research by PWC shows that significantly reducing or abolishing APD would provide an immediate and lasting boost to UK economic growth and be revenue neutral for the Exchequer.
The Government's goals are to return domestic tourism revenue to 2019 levels by the end of 2022 and inbound tourism revenue to 2019 levels by 2023. However, these goals will not be achieved without £20bn of new policy initiatives. This document sets out a range of policy options to ensure the Government's goals are attained.