Joss Croft, CEO of UKinbound, said, “Today’s Autumn Statement fails to harness the substantial economic growth potential of the UK’s inbound tourism industry, disregarding the sky-high price of international travel, which leaves us one of the most expensive countries in Europe to visit.
“The UK is at a significant competitive disadvantage, but with the right support from the Government, international tourism to the UK could immediately and significantly boost businesses and local economies throughout the four nations.
“The failure to bring back VAT refunds for international visitors is a significant oversight and one that will hit UK high streets and boost those in France, Germany and Italy
“We remain committed to working with the Government to boost UK economic growth via inbound tourism, but today’s Autumn Statement is a missed opportunity that must be corrected as quickly as possible.”
UKinbound is a leading travel trade association and the only one which focuses solely on the interests of the UK’s 2nd largest service export earner (second only to financial services). Inbound international tourism to the UK is larger than UK vehicle exports and oil exports from the North Sea. In 2022, the UK’s inbound tourism sector welcomed 31.2 million international visitors, who contributed £26.5 billion to the UK economy.