CAMPING holidays will be much cheaper for Brits this year following the government’s VAT cuts.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this week that VAT will drop from 20 per cent to 5 per cent for hotels, restaurants and attractions such as cinemas and theme parks.
Mr Sunak said: “VAT on hospitality and tourism is charged at 20 per cent. So I’ve decided, for the next six months, to cut VAT on food, accommodation and attractions.
“Eat-in or hot takeaway food from restaurants, cafes and pubs; accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites; attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos; all these and more will see VAT reduced, from next Wednesday until January 12, from 20 per cent to 5 per cent.”
While retailers and service providers don’t have to pass on VAT to customers, many may choose to to encourage people to return.
Martin Smith, founder of Campsites.co.uk, suggested that campsites are likely to offer reduced rates to Brits this year following the announcement.
He said: “Just over half of our bookable campsites are VAT registered, so the reduction in VAT is great news for them.
“Either they’ll make slightly more on each booking (about £18 on a typical booking worth £150 or so) to put towards lost earnings and extra costs this summer – or they’ll have a bit of wiggle room to bring prices down to help fill available capacity.”
This means a holiday in the UK is likely to be cheaper than ever as Brits avoid travelling abroad this year due to coronavirus fears.
However, anyone with a holiday already booked won’t be able to take advantage of the VAT cut.
Martin added: “VAT is generally applied when a booking is made rather than when the holiday is taken, so people who’ve already booked shouldn’t expect a refund.”
Either they’ll make slightly more on each booking to put towards lost earnings and extra costs this summer – or they’ll have a bit of wiggle room to bring prices down to help fill available capacity
He also said that half of campsites are not VAT registered so some families may miss out on the cuts.
Yet some could save hundreds if they’re planning a big family holiday staycation in the UK.
For example, a family of four on a six-night trip to Cornwall would pay £2,387 now for bed and breakfast, and for lunch and evening meals with soft drinks.
But they could save £298.37 and bring costs down to £2,088.63 if VAT cuts are passed on in full – this of course assumes the price already includes VAT at 20 per cent.
Ten campsites across the popular New Forest are to stay shut for the rest of the year after warning that they were not able to do so safely.
Camping in the Forest said in a statement: “After careful review, it was clear that our forest campsites posed unique challenges, meaning that we would be unable to meet our high hygiene standards and adhere to government guidance on new measures around the running of campsites.”
Yet camping and caravan parks could still struggle during the summer season even if they open – as guests won’t be spending any money at the bars and restaurants which remain closed.