Tourist Spending: VAT - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:17 pm on 24 May 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Wheatcroft Baroness Wheatcroft Crossbench 3:17, 24 May 2023

My Lords, it is not the number of tourists that is important but the type of tourist. The higher-spending tourists are being deterred from coming to this country because of the lack of VAT-free shopping, as the figures quoted by the noble Baroness, Lady Doocey, made clear. Those tourists are heading to Spain and France and spending their money there. I declare an interest as chairman of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. Our members are losing out because these high-spending tourists are not coming to this country, doing their retail therapy and then taking in museums, galleries et cetera. Will the Minister undertake to take into account our cultural heritage when she looks at this issue?