BHA condemns Sadiq Khan’s ‘unfair’ London ‘tourist tax’

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has hit back at the Greater London Assembly’s (GLA) plans to introduce a ‘bed tax’ for the capital’s hotel rooms.

The London Assembly Economy Committee met yesterday to further discuss the tax which it says could add between £91m to £364m a year to the UK economy.

The plans were first introduced in January, described as a “Berlin-style tax of 5% of the room rate per night”. It could potentially increase accommodation prices by £3.40.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: “The London tourism tax will unfairly penalise hard-pressed Britons, who make up the overwhelming proportion of visitors to London. Sadiq Khan has proclaimed “London is Open”, yet is backing a tax on anyone coming for a weekend break in the capital, professionals going about their business and holidaymakers with their families.

“It’s a tax on fun and business. This isn’t just about top end hotels, it’s about hard working people on budget breaks too. This levy threatens our industry, which is the lifeblood of the UK’s economy, employing over half a million people in London, and generating an estimated £57bn to the UK’s GDP.”

She added: “Hospitality and tourism are highly price sensitive, and domestic and international visitors have significant destination choice, as do business tourism, event organisers and investors. Domestic tourists in the UK already pay one of the highest rates of tax in Europe and the World Economic Forum currently ranks the UK 135 out of 136 countries in terms of tourism tax competitiveness.”

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