As a busy hospitality business located in the heart of London, we at the Georgian House Hotel have taken much interest in the debate of cutting VAT on UK accommodation. We are keen to support the positive campaign all the way through to the live issue presented during the General Election. We would like to express our views on the campaign and to illustrate what changes this potential breakthrough for Britain would bring for the Georgian House.
Firstly, our priority is to ensure that our guests fully enjoy every aspect of their stay with us in the city and this would include their satisfaction with pricing. Thus we would gladly take this opportunity to reduce our prices should VAT be lowered. Many of our European guests have raised concern for the lack of value for money provided from accommodation services, particularly in London. We have asked our guests their opinions about our prices, now, with the 20% UK VAT rate, and then with a French VAT rate of 10% applied. It is simple, they feel that whilst they love the product and service, currently London hotels do not offer good value, but the drop in VAT is all that it would take to make them feel satisfied. With a change in the VAT rate we would drop our room rates to align them similar to prices in Paris hotels with the intention of increasing attraction and demand from European and other international travellers, encouraging them to take advantage of the reduced rates and the chance to spend more in London.
Secondly, VAT reduction would contribute towards an increase in wages and investment into the most valued aspect of the business, our staff. Their development and satisfaction are essential and we understand that salary is a significant part of every staff member’s work. We believe that the added business the VAT rate cut would attract would enable us to give back to our staff and reward them with the benefits that they deserve. We think that we would be able to offer higher wages for the hard work that they all commit to each day. The extra volume of business would increase the level of staffing we require and we would look to do this by growing our apprenticeship program.
In general, our overall opinion of the campaign is that its success will boost London’s image and lead to a significant visitor increase, which would prove a tremendous benefit to the improving economy. We believe that the possible negative perception from visitors of value in the service industry, due to the high VAT, will lift and influence more spending in restaurants, hotels and high-street stores.