On Monday, I visited Presthaven Sands beach resort today as part of his promotion of the tourism industry in Flintshire. This follows the recent event I jointly held with Mark Tami – MP for Alyn and Deeside – in Westminster where local tourism businesses travelled down to demonstrate all that Flintshire has to offer for anyone planning a staycation this year.
I with Elma John, Manager of Presthaven Sands beach resort, to discuss the campaign to cut tourism Value Added Tax. This is a campaign which wants the rate of Tourism VAT to be brought into line with competitor destinations within the European Union.
There are a limited number of areas where EU rules allow governments to implement a reduced rate of VAT. In the case of tourism the United Kingdom is one of only three countries not to take advantage of a reduced rate. This means that British families or international visitors choosing a British holiday would pay almost three times as much VAT compared to a French or German break, and twice as much as one in Italy and Spain. This is something the UK Government can change today as it is promoted by the EU.
Presthaven Sands beach resort employs approximately 460 people during the season and is vital to our local economy.
Presthaven Sands beach resort is an important employer in Delyn and I fully support the excellent holidays they provide. The tourism pound is vital to the North Wales economy as it ensures that more money is spent in our communities which boosts employment in the region.
My meeting with Elma follows on from last week’s successful Flintshire Tourism Association showcase in Westminster. Since the announcement that North Wales is one of the top destinations to visit in the world for 2017 I have been on a drive to bang the drum for our important tourism industry.
The ‘cut tourism VAT’ campaign is one that I support. It is a simple measure that can be taken by the UK Government, but as of yet they have refused to. They will have another chance to right this wrong in the autumn when the Chancellor will announce his second budget of the year. I will be pushing for this cut to become reality to help Delyn businesses.