Unfair tax breaks for short-haul airlines are irrevocably damaging regional tourism including the UK's seaside resorts, the Government was warned today.
Giving evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into tourism, Travelodge claimed the budget airline sector "is the single biggest cause of decline in traditional tourism resorts".
It urged the inquiry and government to create a "fair playing field" for UK tourism by adding VAT to air travel.
According to Travelodge, a 10% reduction in overseas flights by British tourists by 2020 would create 31,250 jobs and inject £1b into struggling tourism locations outside of London.
Travelodge chief executive Grant Hearn said: "Today we called on the Government to embrace tourism as a national economic priority and address the complete lack of a coherent business plan for British tourism growth.
"We suggested that the prime minister follows the example of successful European tourism economies by moving tourism from a culture to an industry focused department. We are ready to engage in any way the prime minister wants."
By Daniel Thomas
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