Find Out What The 5% VAT Relief Means For Visitor Attractions?

Following an announcement by the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on the 8th July, we’ve put together some advice on what the 5% VAT relief really means for the visitor and tourist attraction industry.

What’s The Guidance?

We’ve put a few questions and answers together based on the current guidance available from the government.

This cut in the VAT rate from the standard rate of 20% will have effect from 15 July 2020 until 30 Sep 2021*;
then 12.5% until 30 April 2022.(*updated Apr 21)

The changes have been brought in as an urgent response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, its a way to support businesses severely affected by forced closures and social distancing measures.


Well the headline reads temporary 5% VAT reduction for hospitality and attractions, who does that really apply to?

This applies to organisations that make supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions into certain attractions.
That means you can claim the 5% VAT reduction on park or attraction tickets income as well as for food and beverage outlets, including cafes, kiosks and restaurants across your attractions. Please remember this does not apply to alcoholic beverages.


What classes as affected supplies?
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption, for example, in restaurants, cafes and pubs
  • Hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages
  • Sleeping accommodation in hotels or similar establishments, holiday accommodation, pitch fees for caravans and tents, and associated facilities


Which attractions are eligible for VAT reduction on admissions charges?

This applies to businesses that make supplies of admissions that are currently taxable at the standard rate. This includes:

  • Fairs
  • Amusement parks
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Cinemas
  • Exhibitions
  • Similar cultural events and facilities

Examples of where the reduced rate may apply could be attractions such as:

  • A planetarium
  • Botanical gardens
  • Studio tours
  • Factory tours

See the full list here:

visitor attraction epos
Does the 5% VAT reduction mean dropping admissions and food & drink prices?

No, you do not need to pass this reduction on to your visitors prices, meaning you can keep the current advertised prices and retain some financial benefit.

So there you have it, a quick overview into what the 5% VAT for hospitality sector means. Remember this is just guidance, to confirm if your attraction is eligible and for more information visit the website.


VisiSoft are the UK’s number 1 EPOS and ticketing platform for visitor attractions, if you’re re-opening your park, museum or farm and looking for an EPOS provider that supports and grows with you, look no further than VisiSoft.
Find out more about the industries we look after and our all in one EPOS, ticketing and reporting solution here.

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Online ticketing, admissions, cafes, gift shops, events and reporting all on one system, all backed up by the support you need.

Your visitors deserve the best experience: VisiSoft gives you all of the tools you need to make sure you deliver an incredible day every time!

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