Ok first things first, UK holidays have always been in the firing line, for being more expensive than a holiday to Spain.
However a huge drop in the number of UK domestic holidays taken in the summer peak month of August has finally got through to greedy hotelier and holiday parcs and prices are now dropping… See UK holidays and short breaks
Tourism Alliance chairman Bob Cotton said that the figures showed that UK holiday prices had been kept unrealistically high and prices are now falling, making UK holidays and breaks more attractive.
Latest figures from Visit-Britain show that the number of overnight trips fell by 11% – equivalent to 1.7 million fewer trips – over August 2007. Spending was down by nine per cent.
“Domestic tourism is on the slide. Unless decisive action is taken to support it a considerable number of tourism-related jobs will be at risk,” he said.
Cotton added that the Spanish government had just announced a financial package of assistance to its tourism industry worth €400 million.
“Spain recognises the value of its tourism industry which is hardly the case with the UK government,” he said.
“Implementing these two measures would go a long way towards protecting the UK tourism industry. Without them, tourism revenue will fall and job losses will multiply.”
The Tourism Alliance called for two key measures of support:
*Review existing and proposed legislation to see where costs to tourism businesses can be reduced.
Proposed regulations on employment, food labelling, service charges/tipping, and licensing will lead to additional costs that businesses can ill afford.
The increase in Air Passenger Duty, announced in the pre-Budget Report, will deter people from visiting the UK just at the time they are needed to boost tourism.