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Press releases

NEW 'BED TAX' PROPOSAL COULD ADD £650M TO COST OF UK HOLIDAYS

13th Mar 2006


Proposals to raise UK hotel and accommodation prices by 10% (1) via a new local Government tax have been rejected by the nation today. A survey commissioned by Travelodge reveals 89% of UK holidaymakers deem an additional taxation on their UK holidays as unfair.

The Lyons Inquiry (2), which closes today 13th March, will ask Government to consider plans to tax British consumers on the 6.5 Billion a year they spend on UK hotels, B&Bs, caravans, mobile homes and cottages - adding up to 100 to the cost of an average family's UK break.

The survey also shows that price rises would force holidaymakers to cut short their UK holidays, eat out less or visit less tourist attractions.

Travelodge's CEO, Grant Hearn said, "British holidaymakers already believe that they are paying too much for their holidays and this tax is going to hit their pockets even harder. Many families wait all year for their summer holiday and now this tax could force them to cut short their break or cancel their holiday completely."

A survey of 2,000 respondents reveals:
64.5% of consumers said a new tax would put them off going away on holiday in the UK
85% of consumers believe the cost of UK hotels is already too high
88% of consumers believe they pay too much tax
67% would reconsider the length of their stay
79% would cut back on spending while away
80% would reconsider staying overnight at a stag and hen party event
The average UK break costs 204
Domestic tourists spend on average 254 each while on a week's UK break

Grant Hearn, said "We want to make hotels accessible for everyone, not just the rich. What consumers don't want is to be taxed out of enjoying our 10 and 26 rooms, which is what will happen unless the idea of UK bed tax is scrapped."

Travelodge warned that if the proposals are adopted, everyone enjoying caravan trips, staying in tents at music festivals, families on campsites and sports fans staying in hotels at matches could be hit with the tax.

Consumers stated that differing taxes across the UK would make hotel prices confusing and less transparent, something Which? identified as a key concern experienced by consumers faced by differing taxes in air travel.

As a result, the research (3) shows that consumers could cut back spending on holiday favourites such has postcards, rollercoaster rides, sticks of rock, going to the pub, fish and chips and buckets and spades.

Travelodge registered its complaint formally as part of the Lyons consultation process that ends on Monday 13th March. It is seeking meetings with the Inquiry, consumer groups and MPs. Consumers are urged to register their objections formally by emailing: sirmichaellyons@lyonsinquiry.org

- ends -

(1) 10% is the most common level of bed taxes used around the world.

(2) The Lyons Inquiry is an independent Government investigation into the future funding and function of local government. Sir Michael Lyons stated in his interim report in December 2005 that he was 'interested in exploring this issue of tourist related taxes further'.

(3) Independent consumer research commissioned on behalf of Travelodge Feb 2006







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