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Press releases

Travelodge calls on MP's to fight for tourism in the House of Commons

12th Mar 2012


and help the industry grow in value by £73bn and create 264,000 jobs

To mark the start of English Tourism week today leading budget hotelier Travelodge has called on MP's with large tourism sectors in their constituency to stand up for the industry in the House of Commons and enact the legislative reforms needed to help the sector grow.

By ensuring that tourism is given the same prominence as other sectors of the economy it has been calculated that tourism could bring in an extra £73bn to the economy and create 264,000 jobs by 2020.

Despite already being the UK’s fifth largest industry British tourism businesses have largely been held back by successive Government’s who over regulate it and fail to offer any support.

The Chief Executive of Travelodge has therefore written to 50 MP's whose constituencies have the largest share of tourism businesses. He has asked them to use their position in the House of Commons to ask for:

• A reduction in the rate of VAT to 5%. Across Europe governments have slashed VAT for tourism businesses ensuring that they remain competitive in these difficult times. Reducing VAT for tourism businesses in the UK would help create 79,000 jobs - a large proportion of which would go to younger workers at a time when one in five 16-24 year olds is out to work.


• An amendment in the Schengen Visa arrangements to make the UK an attractive destination for Chinese tourists. Presently more Chinese people visit France and Germany than the UK because we require them to obtain another visa before coming here. Relaxing the requirements could see Chinese tourists spend an £800m here and create 16,000 jobs.


Guy Parsons, Chief Executive of Travelodge Hotels, said: “Despite being the fifth largest industry in Britain tourism is virtually neglected in the House of Commons. We are one of the few sectors of the economy that can quickly create meaningful jobs and help to pull the country out of its present difficulty.

“To truly be able to do this however we need MP’s who will stand up and champion tourism’s cause. Reducing VAT to 5% for tourism businesses and relaxing the Schengen Visa arrangements for Chinese tourists would send a message out that the Government is now firmly on our side.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The potential of tourism to grow an extra £73bn by 2020 was calculated by Deloitte and Oxford Economics on behalf of Visit Britain
http://www.visitbritain.org/mediaroom/archive/archive2010/deloittetourism.aspx

During 2012, Travelodge is opening 41 hotels and creating 1,000 new jobs across the country which includes 140 apprenticeship positions for school leavers via its JuMP programme. This scheme was launched last year and is the UK’s first budget hotel management apprenticeship programme. In addition Travelodge employs staff through the Job Centre Plus and the Local Employment Partnership (LEP) which helps the long term unemployed back into work. Nationally over 70% of Travelodge staff have been recruited through the LEP since its inception in 2007.

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