Travel ‘expected to grow faster than wider UK economy’

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Travel ‘expected to grow faster than wider UK economy’

A new joint report from ABTA and UKinbound shows the travel industry has the potential to outperform the rest of the UK economy up to 2027.

It says inbound travel is forecast to grow 20% and outbound travel by 15%, compared to forecast growth of 10.3% in the wider UK economy.

However, the report says that to achieve its potential growth, travel needs ‘the right policy framework’.

ABTA and UKinbound intend to use the findings, by consultant York Aviation, to pressure the Government to grant their extensive wishlists for both the outbound and inbound travel industries.

Included on ABTA’s list is a freezing of air passenger duty in the Budget on 17 November, an extension of the freeze on business rates beyond next April – and for tour operators without high street premises to be given similar support – plus an extension of support for energy bills for travel businesses beyond next April.

Both ABTA and UKinbound are asking for the Government’s Youth Mobility Scheme, in place for certain countries including Australia and New Zealand, to be extended on a country-by-country basis to EU member states to allow tour operators to deploy Brits overseas.

UKinbound’s asks include the creation of a digitalised youth group visa application process to combat the ‘devastating’ impact of the abolition of the EU ID card acceptance, reinstating VAT-free shopping for international visitors, and to make the visa application process cheaper and faster in key markets.

To back up their requests, today’s report, International Travel: Powering the UK economy, has been sent to key Government ministers and MPs.

The report also provides data on the contribution travel makes to local economies and communities, and, for the first time, it is broken down by constituency so ABTA and UKinbound members can share the information with their local MPs and representatives.

Overall, the report says that each year international travel contributes £80bn to the UK economy in gross value added (GVA), equivalent to 4% of the UK total.

It provides £13.3bn in taxes and generates £84bn in travel-related spending.

The figures were taken from 2019, the last year for which Government figures are available.

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