"Our ten-point plan is about awakening the potential of the sector and positioning tourism as a key element of a successful and sustainable economic recovery. I welcome an opportunity to discuss this proposal with Mr. Cable and his Department."
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: "Across the UK, thousands of hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants, businesses small and large, depend on the Government to back them. Our industry has the potential to create over 200,000 jobs in the UK by 2015. All the evidence shows that our tourism and hospitality industry is a success story in this recession. There are measures that Government could take which would create more employment and boost the economy - such as cutting tourism VAT to 5% and the ongoing initiative to improve the tourist visa process. It is essential that there is a more co-ordinated approach for tourism in government."
Detailed below is Travelodge's ten-point plan for developing a tourism industry capable of creating jobs and leading the economy out of recession to sustained growth:
1. Move tourism higher up the Government's agenda, with the first step being to move the industry to where it belongs - the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation. DBIS has both the authority and responsibility to ensure that tourism can flourish.2. DBIS to take responsibility for setting a national strategy and policy which includes introducing performance targets and better collaboration across the industry.3. Reinstate a full time Minister for Tourism post.4. Create a united tourism working party with the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Mayor of London.5. Develop a dedicated plan and regional tourism fund to help the national tourist boards develop a "London and beyond" strategy that considers where investment in regional tourism can deliver the strongest results.6. Assess the business case for regional tourism zones that enjoy allowances on capital expenditure and investment in new projects.7. Ring-fence funding for hospitality apprenticeships to drive growth and jobs in the sector.8. Simplify the visa process for visitors from emerging markets, especially China. Some steps have been taken recently, which is good news, but a lack of further action will cost jobs, growth and investment.9. Reduce the current VAT rate of 20% for the hospitality industry to 5% in line with our European neighbours. This will create 236,000 jobs by 2015, 475,000 jobs by 2020 and annually boost the economy by GBP 150 million.10. Target the investment industry especially companies who invest in pension funds and savings plans to invest in tourism business ventures as an alternative long term investment.
Notes to editors:
Weathering the Storm: UK Tourism During the Recession 2007-2011 was commissioned by Travelodge to understand how the tourism sector performed through the recession. Key findings include:
-- Total tourism revenue up 12.6% to GBP 40bn between 2007-2011- (General economy up 8%)-- Employment numbers buck the wider trend, thanks to strong growth in 2011-- Total visitors up 3.1% to 157m-- Fewer Britons holidaying abroad, down 18%-- Staycation breaks up 5.6%, as recession proves holidays are essential and not a luxury for Britons-- Two million fewer overseas visitors coming to the UK-- British seaside destinations on the decline by -5%-- UK city breaks account for 23% of domestic tourism
The first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, Travelodge now operates over 500 hotels and over 35,400 rooms across the UK, Ireland (11) and Spain (4). Travelodge plans to grow its estate to 1,100 hotels and 100,000 rooms by 2025. Over 13 million people stayed with Travelodge last year and 90% of reservations are currently made online at travelodge.co.uk, where room rates start at GBP 19 per night. The chain employs over 6,000 staff.
Travelodge Press Office