Tourism and the UK’s Economic Recovery

Tourism and the UK’s Economic Recovery

The UK tourism industry is one of the largest sectors of the UK economy. The 303,000 businesses in the sector generate £157bn for the UK economy and provide employment for 3.4m people

Importantly, the UK is the fifth largest international tourism destination with overseas visitors spending £31bn per annum in the UK economy. As such, tourism is the UK fifth largest export earning sector, second only to financial services in terms of service sector exports.

While the sector was badly impacted by the global pandemic it has repeatedly shown its ability to bounce back from international crises and provide much needed growth for the UK economy.

This document, therefore, sets out a series of ten initiatives that the Government could implement to generate growth of £11.6bn. These are:


1. Introduce a Youth Group Travel Scheme for EU Student Groups
2. Increase Funding for International Marketing
3. Introduce a Low-Cost Five Year Visitor Visa
4. Reinstate the VAT Reclaim Scheme
5. Revise the Package Travel Regulations
6. Fully Implement the De Bois Review
7. Expand and Reform the Youth Mobility Scheme
8. Reduce the VAT Rate For Hospitality and Attractions
9. Use ETAs to Boost Business Tourism
10. Reform Business Rates

Importantly, these initiatives are, in the main, cost-neutral, either generating additional revenue for the Exchequer or reducing Government expenditure.

We look forward to working with the Government on the development and implementation of these initiatives so that the UK tourism industry can continue to provide significant benefits to the UK economy and to local communities.

Read the full report here

Published 15th December 2022