A group of leading hospitality and tourism players have joined forces to spearhead the campaign against bed tax.
Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Travelodge, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and tourist promotional bodies VisitBritain, Visit London and the Tourism Alliance, have agreed to work together to organise the industry's strategic response to the threat of a bed tax in England.
The group is calling on Sir Michael Lyons, who is heading the inquiry into local government funding reform, to ditch a bed tax from his proposals.
Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, said: "This is the first time the industry has united to fight against a single cause in this way. We are planning decisive action if bed tax gathers any further momentum. The Lyons Inquiry will feel the full force of this campaign."
The UK's tourist board, VisitBritain, has also now voiced strong opposition to the proposed bed tax.
Speaking at the first meeting of the campaign group in London last week, Bernard Donoghue, head of government and corporate affairs for VisitBritain, said it was time to take action against the tax.
"We have got leading players together to ensure that a bed tax can't get any oxygen," he said.
Donoghue added there were three "very good reasons" to oppose the tax. "It isn't right to pick on one industry to make up the shortfall in local government revenue," he said.
"The second reason is that the UK already struggles to be competitive in the international marketplace because we pay the second-highest rate of VAT on accommodation in Europe. To add another tax will just reduce the attractiveness of the UK as a value destination.
"The third reason is that a bed tax will disproportionately hit the budget end of the market, which has seen the largest growth in the past 10 years."
Donoghue also stressed it would be entrepreneurial operators, who often ran B&Bs, self-catering accommodation, caravan parks or local guesthouses, that would really feel the pinch from a bed tax.
The anti-bed tax group plans to meet again before Sir Michael Lyons's interim report, due in mid-June.
BHA chief executive Bob Cotton said the interim report was unlikely to discuss bed tax specifically, but warned that wider talks could still spell danger.
He advised the meeting was expected to include a discussion of new ways of raising revenue for local authorities, including devolving tax-raising powers. This would throw up a new menace because for many local authorities a bed tax remains an attractive option.
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Hoteliers get behind Caterer's Say No To bed tax campaign
Andy Cosslett, chief executive, InterContinental Hotels Group
"This is also at a time when, as an industry, we should be focusing on the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
David Clarke, chief executive, Best Western
Jeremy Goring, chief executive, Goring hotel, Belgravia, London
Patrick Elsmie, operations director, Gleneagles, Scotland
By James Garner