The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has asked the government for more financial support to attract young people to the sector and a reduction in tourism tax ahead of the chancellor’s autumn budget statement.
Louise Goalen, HBAA chair, addressed the UK’s VAT rate on hotel accommodations, noting that it was higher than any other country in Europe. She went on to suggest that a reduction would be a “positive boost to our competitiveness” and said it could “help stimulate both inbound events activity and incentivise UK based organisations to hold their events here”.
Goalen said: “This industry really needs financial incentives or assistance for young people to train and to encourage talent in the hospitality and events sector, and the HBAA hopes that the chancellor will address this.
“As the industry is growing and, at the same time, the number of workers coming into the UK sector from the EU is declining, we need to attract more young people to see the sector as a good career opportunity. Optimising the living wage and providing funds to encourage 16 to 19 year olds to train in the sector would be valuable initiatives to help to address this significant issue.”