Jardine back call for comprehensive recovery package for aviation, travel and tourism

24 Jul 2023

Christine Jardine MP has joined over 40 parliamentarians to call on the Prime Minister to re-introduce VAT-free shopping for international visitors and to implement arrivals duty-free shopping.

A cross-party group of parliamentarians has written to the Prime Minister urging the Government to re-introduce VAT-free shopping for international visitors and to introduce arrivals duty-free at airports, international rail and ferry terminals in Great Britain.

Christine is supporting calls from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Future of Aviation to highlight that the failure to bring in these measures is holding back our economy and boosting inbound tourism to nations such as France and Germany.

The letter states the importance of price sensitivity to visitors from key inbound markets and figures from this year show that the UK lags considerably behind its European neighbours in visitor numbers in part due to the lack of tax-free shopping.

Christine said: “The government’s refusal to introduce arrivals duty-free shopping and VAT-free shopping is putting off visitors from important markets, holding back our economy and ultimately affecting our global competitiveness.

“Our aviation, travel and tourism industries were amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic and now, instead of working to help these vital businesses boost the recovery from the pandemic, the government is putting up barriers to high spending tourists and actively boosting the economies of other nations.

“These businesses are vital not only to our local economy, but to the overall economy and the lack of VAT free shopping is hitting wider businesses and the manufacturing sectors throughout the UK.

“I urge the Prime Minister to listen to the industry and introduce these two simple measures to boost the UK economy and to reinforce Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK's tourist industry.”

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