The UK is just under 50 days from a General Election. It can be easy to get caught up in the media response to all of it; spats, fights, spin and of course debates. But what difference will it really make to the UK, what policies will impact on the country’s economy, still relatively fragile after a long and drawn out recession?
Change isn’t something that’s often openly embraced, especially by business. It often breeds both fear and uncertainty. There’s a great deal of competition in terms of policies, some of which are often seen as making promises to voters to win their backing. It’s difficult to predict accurately what the outcome will be, and what it will mean for business.
There are a few factors we know that all politicians are going to be interested in. Travel is always on the agenda in some form; be it green travel and policies, the reduction in pollution or the new proposed runways at Heathrow or Gatwick. Fuel tax has been frozen by the Chancellor and ongoing policies affect public services like education, the NHS and the armed forces. Cuts in these areas don’t simply affect these sectors; if businesses have less money it inevitably hits their travel budget. But looking for more cost-effective travel option can benefit serviced apartments, recognising that it’s often a cheaper option than a hotel.
The sterling is strong against both the Euro and the Dollar, which is good news as it makes the UK much more attractive for outside travellers and investors. Meanwhile for UK businesses the strong pound makes it a good time to buy Euros or Dollars for any future trips.
Another policy involves the reduction in air passenger duty for under 12s. This has been part of a raft of measures suggesting that air prices are set to reduce. They have increased substantially in the last decade but reducing prices for children does encourage families to travel together; especially good news for those who are relocating.
ABTA has recently launched “Value Tourism” which is trying to gain support for the travel industry itself. It’s fast becoming an important sector for politicians. It’s also increasingly important when it comes to the UK economy, promoting the UK and boosting employment as well as economic growth. The travel industry represents around 3 million jobs and generates £127 billion every year.
The travel and tourism industry has a direct effect on the UK economy. There’s a driving need to incentivise and encourage businesses and agents to promote global travel. London is seen as the place to do business and many global corporates have an office in the UK capital, which does a great job in promoting business travel to and from the capital.
Clarendon works extensively with business travellers and has developed a variety of serviced apartments designed especially for the corporate sector and extended stays. As a travel provider we, along with the rest of our industry, is eager to see what effect the election will have on the industry, and in turn what effect those policies will have on the economy.
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