Liberal Democrats pass new policies to cut tourism VAT, regulate short-term lets and support local tourism levies.

The Liberal Democrats have passed new plans to support tourism across the country, including plans to cut VAT on visitor accommodation and attractions; grant new powers for local authorities to limit the number of short-term lets; and enable local authorities to bring in tourist levies to fund local infrastructure.


Tourism is an essential part of the York economy, however, the Government has neglected to make tourism a part of its industrial strategy or recognise the major challenges for UK tourism.

In turn, the new proposals will reduce taxation on tourism by central Government, to boost the sector, while empowering local authorities to raise revenue and invest in their local communities, aiming for an overall revenue-neutral impact on the tourist sector.


Cllr Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, added:

"Tourism is a pillar of the local York economy, and if our city’s economy is to remain strong, we must continue to support our local tourist sector. I am delighted to have voted for our bold new plans to support tourism across the UK; proposing to cut VAT on all visitor accommodation and attractions. Current VAT levels in the industry stifle a lot of small and medium-sized enterprises in our city, and I’m pleased the Lib Dems have once again supported small businesses in York.”

“Crucially, these new proposals enable us to support our local communities. With better regulation of short-term lets, we will be able to mitigate some of the negative impacts felt by communities, for example, with some AirBnB properties. Furthermore, a local tourist levy will ensure that York’s successful tourist sector can generate funding to reinvest and improve our city, with no net-increase in cost to the sector.”

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