Tourism Alliance Update – 20th May

  • Online Sales Tax Submission

Attached is a copy of the Tourism Alliance Online Sales Tax Consultation submission that was sent in today. The key points are:

  • A strong and healthy tourism industry and strong and healthy high streets are mutually beneficial
  • The tourism industry generates high street retail sales of over £20bn per annum, which generates over 300,000 FTE positions in the sector
  • A large percentage of tourism industry sales (estimated at 66%-80%) are online as people buy products and services before they travel to destinations
  • The application of an Online Sales Tax to the tourism industry would amount to double taxation as accommodation and attractions can only be “bricks and mortar” businesses
  • Tourism is very price sensitive and, as such, an increase in costs through added taxation will decrease visitor numbers to destinations which will, in turn, decrease high street expenditure
  • To avoid unintended impacts, proposals for an Online Sales Tax should therefore be narrowly focused on retail businesses that predominately operate online.
  • Participation Survey

DCMS released it’s participation survey today which covers the period Oct-Dec 2021. In terms of tourism the survey found that:

  • Over half (55%) of adults took a holiday somewhere in England in the previous 12 months. Of these:
    • Over two in five (44%) spent 3-6 nights away.
    • 43% of adults said that they visited museums, galleries, heritage or cultural sites or events while they were away
  • Adults aged 75 and over, those living in London, adults with a long-standing limiting illness or disability, belonging to a non-White ethnic group, social housing dwellers, and those living in the most deprived deciles were less likely to take a holiday in England in the last 12 months