The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) says it is delighted with the announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak that he will cut VAT on tourism businesses to five per cent as part of a suite of measures designed to help the sector recover from Covid-19.

The CLA has consistently called for such a measure, which it included in its paper ‘Covid-19: Restarting the economy in rural areas’, published in May.

CLA president Mark Bridgeman backed the plan to help the tourism industry.

He said: “After intense lobbying from the CLA, we’re delighted that the Government has cut VAT to help our sector fight back from a devastating start to the year.

“Until now VAT on tourism businesses has been much higher than in other comparable countries, putting domestic tourism businesses at a competitive disadvantage to holiday providers overseas.

“This welcome change from government means more people will be able to afford to enjoy a holiday in the British countryside, helping to revive rural economies across the country.

“The next challenge will be to ensure we are able to stimulate demand not just in the short term, but through the less popular winter months too.”

The easing of the lockdown on tourism businesses has allowed them to start to reopen, and cutting VAT on their income will allow them to either improve their own business’s margins, or to pass on savings to customers and potentially encourage more people to head for short breaks or meals out.