UK based travel companies would do better to sell holidays outside of Europe instead of selling a UK break to EU tourists, European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) has claimed. Responding to yesterday’s tourism policy announcement by the government, which focused on inbound operations over outbound tourism, ETOA explained that the taxation through the Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme (TOMS) served as a tax on exports as non-EU holidays from the UK are tax free, but imported holidays are taxed heavily. “There should be no VAT on exports which are used abroad. Tourism is an export but the creation of holidays in the EU for visitors from outside the EU is subject to VAT under TOMS,” said Tom Jenkins, executive director of ETOA. “That is different from every other type of export and it’s clearly disadvantageous to our inbound tourism.” Meanwhile, ETOA and VisitEngland have generally welcomed the government’s tourism policy for recognising notions to improve the visa system, welcome on entry and transportation. Penrose said these initiatives would also improve outbound tourism but generally ignored the sector as it ‘does not need help as much as other parts of tourism’.