Tax-free shopping will boost economy

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget next week, the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade association for UK airports, is supporting the campaign to reinstate tax-free shopping for international visitors.

Speaking about it, AOA Chief Executive Karen Dee said: “This measure will bring major benefits to UK plc and send the signal to international travellers that the UK is an attractive place to visit and spend their money.

 “Airports from across the UK support restoring tax-free shopping showing that the whole of the UK will benefit, with jobs and investment stimulated, footfall on local high streets increased, and the whole economy boosted.

 “The UK is in a unique position to be able to offer this benefit to EU, as well as American, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and other visitors, and we urge the Chancellor to take this opportunity.”

Recent research has indicated that spending by American visitors to France, Spain and Italy, where tax-free shopping is available, is two or three times the level of the UK. Heathrow Airport is also reporting spending by Chinese visitors is down by two-thirds on 2019 levels.