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A New-York style tax of one per cent on hotel stays for visitors to London is “a real concern” for business travellers, the GTMC has said.
MP Tessa Jowell, who is a frontrunner for the next London mayor, has proposed the levy to raise more than £50 million for the city.
The GTMC is concerned that London politicians have expressed support for the hotel tax without consultation with the business travel community.
The body representing travel management firms said although the proposed tax is likely to start at one per cent per bed per night, it’s worried this would “set a precedent”, and once established such taxes would “increase over time”.
“As outlined in the recent GTMC manifesto the London ‘hotel levy’ is a real concern for the business traveller. Making it more difficult to do business in London is not a positive move for the economy,” said GTMC CEO Paul Wait.
“The so called ‘tourism tax’ would impact on business travellers visiting from cities across the UK as well as internationally.”
He added: “The GTMC is greatly concerned that there would be no method to distinguish between tourists and business travellers, which in turn has a negative impact on the UKs - and specifically London's - ability to develop as an international growing economy.
“Discouraging the progress of commerce is not sensible long term planning. We are firmly opposed to the hotel levy.”
Last month, The GTMC published its pre-election manifesto, outlining the changes it would like to see after the general election in May.