The latest data from UKinbound reveals that ahead of the next General Election – the top priorities that tourism and hospitality businesses in the UK would like to see in political party manifestos are a commitment to reducing VAT levels back to 12.5% and re-introducing the policy for schoolchildren from the European Union to enter the UK with ID cards rather than passports.
The association undertook its latest business barometer member survey in July 2023.
Conducted by Qa Research, the survey also shows that:
• Confidence levels remain high for 78% of those businesses that responded
• Expected or confirmed bookings for Q3 of 2023 are at the same level or higher than they were pre-pandemic for over two thirds of businesses responding to the survey
• 75% of businesses stated they expected revenue for Q3 of 2023 and 74% of businesses expect booking levels for Q4 of 2023 to be the same or higher than before the pandemic
• There is strong demand from US visitors to come to the UK with over half of businesses (59%) responding to the survey reporting that the USA is the main or secondary market they are seeing growth from however, only 13% of businesses responding to the survey said the main or secondary market they are seeing growth from is China.
Joss Croft OBE, CEO of UKinbound commented,
“Our latest research shows that businesses in the inbound tourism industry are currently feeling confident about current and future bookings and revenue even though the return of the Chinese market is taking some time to come back.
“This research also told us however that even though demand is increasing, running a business in the tourism and hospitality industry is tough right now. Many are still struggling with servicing debt from the pandemic, recruiting skilled staff and the increased cost of living is squeezing profitability and impacting on the ability to invest and grow for the future. Reducing VAT levels back to 12.5% would enable businesses to invest more in products and services and some certainty over the future usage of ID cards by school groups from the EU rather than just warm words from the UK Government about reviewing this policy would go a long way to helping these businesses.”