Travelodge lobbies MPs on tourism

Budget hotel group Travelodge has challenged Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis to 'fight' for tourism in the town and help create more than 500 jobs.

The budge hotelier, which last year unveiled plans to open a hotel in the Norfolk Broads, is lobbying 51 MPs including Mr Lewis, after claiming that British tourism businesses have been held back by successive government's through lack of support and over regulation.

Guy Parsons, chief executive of Travelodge Hotels, said: 'Despite being the fifth largest industry in Britain tourism is virtually neglected in the House of Commons. We are one of the few sectors of the economy that can quickly create meaningful jobs and help to pull the country out of its present difficulty.

'To truly be able to do this however we need MP's who will stand up and champion tourism's cause. We have invited Brandon Lewis to visit our two hotel in his constituency so he can see the job opportunities and careers that tourism can offer.'

Travelodge called for a VAT cut of 5pc for tourism businesses and also pressed for changes to EU Schengen visa arrangements to make the UK an attractive destination for Chinese visitors, measures it claimed could help generate an extra �290m in revenue for the town and create 535 jobs.

Mr Lewis, who said he had yet to receive Travelodge's lobbying letter, said the coalition had already worked to cut red tape in the tourism industry, but he was keen to do more. And he said the New Anglia Lep, which he was instrumental in getting set up, had also identified tourism as a key sector for economy in both Norfolk and Suffolk.

'It's a shame they contacted the press release out before speaking to me, but it's a hugely important industry and I will happily meet with them,' he said. 'If they've got regualations in mind they find a particular hindrance and are of no benefit and are increasing costs, then I will support them. The team at the tourism ministry has stripped away a lot of regulations already That doesn't mean there isn't more to do, but if you look at what I've done, already, I've been pretty supportive.'

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