Coastal footpath near Hartland, Devon
Photo by John-Mark Strange / Unsplash

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to support our vitally important Tourism Industry here in Devon and across the UK, and to increase visitor numbers.

We would aim to reduce VAT on accommodation and attractions to allow the UK to compete with equivalent European countries - David Chalmers

The Lib Dem manifesto calls for an upgrading of the status of tourism within government, by creating a Department of Digital, Culture, Media, Sport and Tourism, with a designated Minister of State for Tourism.

To allow UK tourism to better compete, the Lib Dems propose reducing VAT on accommodation and attractions, bringing it into line with other European destinations.

David Chalmers, Liberal Democrat Candidate for Torridge & West Devon, said:

"Tourism in Torridge & West Devon is a success story, but it has so much more potential.  People already come here to sample our fantastic food and drink, enjoy our warm hospitality, our stunning beaches, spectacular countryside,  fascinating history, sports, adventure and great days out for the whole  family, but we could do so much more.

"The tourism industry is not given the status and support that such a world-beating sector deserves. As a first step, the Lib Dems would create a Minister of State for Tourism, which is only right for an industry that employees more people than the NHS."

"The World Economic Forum’s biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 ranks the UK as the fifth most competitive tourism destination in the world. However, it is second worst destination in terms of price, mainly because high levels of taxation get pushed on to the consumer. In particular, the rate of VAT on accommodation is twice the amount paid by visitors to the four other main tourism destinations in Europe: Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

"We would aim to reduce VAT on accommodation and attractions to allow the UK to compete with equivalent European countries.

"Helping grow the tourism industry, helps Torridge & West Devon. It is a key source of good jobs and prosperity, and as your MP I will doing everything I can to see it suceed.

You can read more about our policies to support the tourism industry in our 'Open Britain - Policies to support the tourism industry' policy paper.

To help David and the Lib Dem campaign you can: