Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the travel and tourism industry has come to a near-total shutdown internationally to/from the UK with very few restrictive exceptions. Since then, there has been an increase in visitor numbers but they remain at a fraction of their usual level. Amidst the pandemic, we have spearheaded a movement to win support for our valuable industry. Rallying our competitors and suppliers to the cause, we have jointly lobbied the government to take action.

We have made several important requests and with these measures in place, we should all be able to share the enjoyment and benefits of holidaying in the Great British countryside.

Read on for our full letter to the government, which has gathered sixty signatures of support from throughout the industry.


The Outdoor Tourism Industry – An Appeal

The situation within our industry is very precarious at present and we are all fighting to survive through to next year when we hope we can get back onto our feet.

We have taken all the necessary steps to keep our businesses going and are grateful for the support given, however there is one inconsistency which we hope has just been overlooked.

As Tour Operators we pay VAT at standard 20% rate on our profit margin under the Tour Operators Margin Scheme (TOMS). When the temporary reduction to 5% VAT was announced to the hospitality and tourism sectors we assumed that this would include ourselves. However, it does not. We would like to know what the reasoning is behind this as ‘help for the hospitality and tourism sectors through a continuation of the reduction in VAT’ should surely include us.

We have been told that policies are constantly under review and therefore urge you to look again at the criteria for TOMS during this unprecedented situation. Applying the reduction to us would make all the difference to our finances as we try to recover and re-build our businesses.

We would be very grateful for your earliest consideration into this reduction in VAT under TOMS to bring us into line with others within the industry.

We thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Sandamas

Back to top