VAT on hotels and holiday attractions should be drastically slashed to boost tourism, the Liberal Democrats said today.
The party would reduce the tax from 20 per cent to just 5 per cent to further help the industry.
This is part of a Liberal Democrat plan to make the UK more attractive as a holiday direction and create a jobs revolution in the sector.
It means the UK would follow the lead of 25 of 28 EU member states who have cut VAT on tourist accommodation and attractions.
The issue was proposed by the Welsh Liberal Democrats at the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference and was passed by members.
Eluned Parrott AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister, said:
“Local hotels, B&Bs and our holiday hotspots are the backbone of our economy and they need more help and support.
“Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of our economy and employs three million people, with nearly half of those jobs taken up by young people.
“But we have some of the higher VAT laws in Europe, with the vast majority of EU countries having already lowered the tax on the industry.
“If we want to boost tourism, create more jobs and continue to showcase the best of Britain, it’s time we gave the sector a helping hand.”
Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments and Chairman of the British Hospitality Association, added:
“This decision by the Liberal Democrats is a reflection of the growing support for our campaign. The World Economic Forum places Britain in 140th place for price competitiveness for tourism out of 141 countries and the reduction in the VAT rate to 5%, as agreed by the Liberal Democrat conference, would increase employment and raise extra revenues for the Government.”