The CEO of British department store chain Harvey Nichols has called on the government to reinstate tax-free shopping for tourists.
“I would urge the government to really prioritise it before an election,” Manju Malhotra said in an interview with The Telegraph.
“We all benefit from international businesses coming to the UK. The high street, restaurants, museums, they all rely on visitors coming to the UK.
“We don’t want to lose another summer.”
Malhotra warned that overseas shoppers are getting “into the habit” of buying luxury goods from cities like Paris and Milan.
“Tourists are spending less time and less money in the UK. There is talk of a change being considered as part of a review of tax policy but the timing is not clear,” she said.
There have been repeated calls from the fashion industry for the government to reinstate tax-free shopping for tourists, which ended when the UK left the EU at the start of 2020.
Parliament is set to debate the topic on September 7.
In May, Walpole, the industry body that represents more than 250 British luxury companies, released a report urging the government to bring back the scheme.
It said at the time that “every passing year without the scheme entrenches the view of London as a more costly place to visit and a less competitive place to do business as international visitors become increasingly aware of the loss of this vital policy”.