Owners of a Wiltshire hotel back national campaign to cut VAT on tourism

By Anita Jaynes on 4 September, 2015

A national campaign to cut VAT on tourism has been backed by one of Wiltshire’s most respected country house hotels.

The owners of The Pear Tree, Purton have signed up to the campaign Cut Tourism VAT lobbying the Government to bring the UK in line with most other European countries and cut VAT on tourism services including hotel rooms, attractions and restaurants.

Chaired by the MD of Butlins, the campaign believes cutting VAT will boost the UK economy by billions and will create 120,000 new jobs. It’s run by the British Hospitality Association and wants VAT cut to five per cent.

Alix Young, hotel manager, said: “Bringing the UK in line with other European countries will make us a more attractive destination for tourists. Currently British families or international visitors choosing a UK break pay almost three times as much VAT compared to a French or German holiday, and twice as much as in Italy and Spain.

“This makes us a far more expensive country to visit. Reducing tourism VAT would help lower prices, but also allow businesses to increase investment.”

The Cut Tourism Tax campaign claims the UK is one of only four European countries to not take advantage of EU rules allowing reductions. For example VAT on hotel accommodation in other EU countries currently stands at:

*13 per cent in Croatia.

*seven per cent in Luxembourg

*ten per cent in Austria.

Cut Tourism Tax has more than 1,000 active campaigners and 100 MPs have signed up to support it. North Wiltshire MP James Gray is the only Wiltshire MP to have backed the campaign to date.

The Pear Tree at Purton is one of the county’s most respected family run hotels. It opened in 1987 and is now managed by the second generation of the Young family – Alix Young and her husband Tim. Anne Young who originally opened the hotel, is still involved in the day-to-day management. This year, the hotel won the Cesar Award for Country Hotel of the Year by the Good Hotel Guide.