Hotels.com lambasts Whitehall’s ‘chaotic’ approach

  • Oxford Economics research shows UK hospitality industry contributes £34bn in tax revenues, as sector calls for cut in VAT to 5%

In the week that Sir Philip Green’s spending review lambasted Government waste, Global Communications Director of booking agency Hotels.com, Alison Couper, said the Government had “a completely chaotic approach to booking rooms instead of a co-ordinated and coherent booking plan”.

“It is astonishing that Government departments are wasting taxpayers’ money on accommodation arrangements,” Couper added. “The Government should be making much more of its collective buying power to keep costs down. In the age of the internet, there is no excuse for not searching out the best deals and negotiating discounts with travel and accommodation suppliers.”

She urged the Government to talk to experts in the hotel and leisure industry if it wanted to make serious savings. “They could do a lot worse,” she said.

Meanwhile, new research by Oxford Economics claims the UK hospitality industry’s £90bn turnover contributes £34bn in gross tax revenues. The report also suggests the hospitality industry employs 2.4m people directly, a figure likely to grow by over 10 per cent by 2015.

British Hospitality Association President Sir David Michels says the research “highlights the industry’s job-creating potential, which the Government cannot ignore”.

“With the London 2012 Olympics coming up, we urge Government to make the UK more internationally competitive by following the lead of Germany and France by reducing VAT for the sector to five per cent. We believe this will stimulate more demand and ultimately higher tax revenues, supporting the drive to reduce the deficit,” he added.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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