RDO has responded to the UK Government’s consultation on changes to the treatment of VAT in respect of alterations to listed buildings.
The removal of the zero rating that currently applies would have a significant impact on the UK tourism industry, including timeshare.
Most timeshare resorts in the UK are located in rural settings and many are developed around historic buildings, renovated at great cost to the developer. Should a 20% VAT rate apply, this would be a significant detractor to companies looking to develop these properties. Furthermore, developers could not absorb all the additional costs and it is inevitable that this would impact on the price paid by the consumer.
There is a real risk that this could stymie the industry, which currently contributes £1.37 billion annually in visitor expenditure in the UK, £551 million of which is spent locally, for example in pubs and restaurants, local shops and attractions. With year-round occupancy levels of up to 90% in some cases, the industry provides full time employment in areas of the country that tend to suffer from high unemployment.
RDO strongly believes that the proposals would be a great detractor to those looking to invest in the UK and would, as a result, mean less money being spent by timeshare owners and fewer businesses being established around the resort such as shops, restaurants and pubs. These are all vital to the long- term survival of rural towns and villages.