Retailers renew their plea to the Government to scrap the UK’s tourist tax after China lifts its Covid-era ban on group tours of Britain
- Retailers renewed their calls on the Government to bring back tax-free shopping
- Beijing yesterday announced it is lifting Covid-era restrictions on group travel
Retailers last night renewed their plea to the Government to bring back tax-free shopping after China lifted a ban on group tours to countries including the UK.
Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists spent more than any other country when abroad – clocking up around £200 billion in 2019, around 60 per cent of which came from groups.
In the UK, Chinese tourists spent around £1.71 billion that year, according to VisitBritain data, the second largest market by value.
Beijing announced yesterday that Covid-era restrictions on group travel to key markets including the US, Japan, Australia and the UK would be lifted.
Steven Medway of the King’s Road and Knightsbridge Partnerships, said: ‘This is welcome news and certainly the lack of group tourism from China to Knightsbridge has been a missing factor since 2019.
Retailers last night renewed their pleas to the Government to bring back tax-free shopping
The renewed calls come after Beijing lifted its Covid-era restrictions on group tours of Britain
‘Tourism is a global and competitive market. Shops, hotels and restaurants will be rolling out the red carpet, but our government is sending a different message with its policy on tax-free shopping.’
Paul Barnes, of the Association of International Retail, said for the Chinese, Britain ranked with France as their most popular European destination in 2019 but was becoming their least favourite.
Last month research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research found that bringing back tax-free shopping for overseas tourists would have a net positive effect on tax revenues.
The economy would be more than £10 billion a year better off from reinstating VAT refunds – and government coffers would benefit to the tune of £2 billion a year.
The Daily Mail launched its Scrap the Tourist Tax campaign in April.
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