Tourism businesses excluded from Government help

Previously thriving businesses in tourism are facing closure due to the lockdown because they are not included in the Government’s coronavirus tourism and leisure rate relief scheme.

Tour and coach operators, English language schools, destination management organisations, and tourism and hospitality charities are being excluded from the Coronavirus Business Rates Relief Scheme, despite the Chancellor extending it to all businesses in the hospitality and leisure industries. Guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says that such businesses do not qualify for support because they are not in premises which customers enter to make a purchase.

Anomalies in the current scheme mean that a Travel Agent which sells a customer a ticket for a tour is eligible for support but the tour operator or coach operator that makes the booking or takes the customer on the tour is not eligible for support, that children’s nurseries are eligible for support but ELT centres which host over half a million international students annually are not, and car hire companies are eligible but coach hire companies are not.

Kurt Janson of the Tourism Alliance has co-ordinated a letter from eight tourism, English language teaching and transport trade associations as well as the Local Government Association to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, asking him to urgently change civil servants’ interpretation of the scheme. Signatories include the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT), UKInbound, Coach Tourism Association, the Local Government Association, English UK and ETOA, the European Tourism Association representing 1,200 organisations.

Find out more about the Tourism Alliance here.

You may also be interested in:-

Coaching industry in crisis

Cumbria counts the cost of Covid-19