January’s VAT rise could significantly impact inbound tourism according to a new TripAdvisor poll. The tax, which will rise from 17.5% to 20% on 4th January 2011, and will affect not only shopping costs but also accommodation, tourist attractions and even car hire prices, will make travelling to Britain “too expensive”, according to nearly a quarter (24%)* of European respondents.
The TripAdvisor research, which polled over 3,200* people across Europe, revealed that a quarter believe the VAT increase will make British holidays unaffordable, while a further quarter (26%) are still undecided as to whether the tax hike will deter them from holidaying in Britain next year. A large number of Brits may also snub the UK – 24%of Britons claim the VAT rise could make domestic holidays in 2011 too expensive.
Emma O’Boyle, spokesperson for TripAdvisor, comments, “The UK is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, with London in particular regarded as a world-class shopping hub. With a quarter of both continental European and British travellers anxious about a UK holiday because of the VAT increase, we may see some excellent travel deals in 2011 as the British tourism industry works hard to be seen as an attractive and competitive holiday option.”