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UKinbound responds to proposed fee increase
for visit visas to the UK

UKinbound, the UK’s only trade association focusing on inbound tourism which represents over 350 members, has responded to the Home Office’s announcement of a proposed 2% fee increase for visit visas to the UK to be implemented in April 2016.

UKinbound’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre Wells OBE commented: “I am extremely disappointed to see that visit visas will be increased by 2% and believe it will have a long-term detrimental effect on inbound tourism to the UK.  Each inbound visitor contributes an additional £630 in export earnings and contributes £216 to the Exchequer:  they more than pay their way already.

“Even though it is a small fee increase, we at UKinbound believe that this sends the wrong message to potential overseas visitors about how much the UK values their business.  Last year, we were encouraged to see the Government improving the accessibility of the UK for tourists with the reduction in the cost of a two year visa for Chinese visitors to £85 - it would be unfortunate if that message of support was to be undermined by a fee increase in 2016.”

Last year, UKinbound launched a number of campaigns directed at the Government; to raise awareness and highlight the vital role UK inbound tourism plays within the economy. Among them is ‘Tourism ABC’ which calls upon the new Government to Acknowledge, Build and Commit to tourism in order to drive employment and export income.

 “Whilst we at UKinbound fully recognise the need to balance the UK economy, we believe that the most effective way to do this is to do all we can to encourage more inbound visitors to the UK.  We will continue our determined efforts to encourage the Government to Acknowledge, Build and Commit to the importance on the inbound tourism sector which in 2015 contributed almost £22 billion to the economy,” Wells further commented.

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