The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has vowed to continue fighting against a bed tax proposal after the Lyons Inquiry this morning called for a consultation on the recommendation.
The BHA described the Inquiry's proposal that local authorities should be able to implement a bed tax if they so wish as "muddled and highly discriminatory".
Bob Cotton, chief executive of the BHA, said: "It is muddled because it does not recognise that, in many areas of the country, tourism represents the total visitor economy, including shops and attractions, not just hotels.
"It will, in effect, be yet another stealth tax on British people taking a holiday in England pushing up prices to make England even more expensive and less attractive to domestic holidaymakers."
"We believe that any suggestion of a tourist tax, on top of VAT which visitors already have to pay, is unfair in principle and highly discriminatory," he added.
Cotton said that the suggestion that some local authorities might be given authority to introduce such a tax, if they wished, would lead to obvious confusion, anomalies and unfairness.
"Some authorities might wish to introduce a tourist tax while others would not because of the potentially negative impact on their tourism revenue," he said. "Businesses in the area in which the tax was imposed would suffer while those elsewhere would gain."
"The Government will make the final decision on this and we will continue to campaign vigorously in Whitehall against implementing a proposal which will inflict great damage on UK tourism," Cotton concluded.
For the full report go to www.lyonsinquiry.org
By Daniel Thomas