Luxury retailers bemoan ‘missed opportunity’ to entice tourists away from rivals by reinstating VAT-free shopping
Luxury retailers rued a ‘missed opportunity’ to entice tourists to the UK.
High-end names including Harrods and Burberry wanted the reinstatement of VAT-free shopping for international tourists, which ended in January 2021.
But there was no mention of the policy.
Losing out: High-end names including Harrods and Burberry had called on the Chancellor to reinstate VAT-free shopping for international tourists, which ended in January 2021
Tourist spending in Britain has reached only two-thirds of its pre-pandemic level, according to Global Blue, which specialises in providing VAT refunds.
Italy and Spain are much closer to a return to 2019 levels of tourist spending, and in France they are spending more.
Steve Medway, at the Knightsbridge and King’s Road Partnerships in London, said it was ‘a missed opportunity to reassert Britain’s pre-eminent status as the international destination of choice for retail’.
Dee Corsi, chief executive at New West End Company, said Jeremy Hunt ‘missed an opportunity to accelerate growth’.