Eurostar welcomes large reduction in VAT on meals in France

7 Jul 2009

-- VAT rate down from 19.6% to just 5.5% when eating out
Eurostar, the high-speed rail service providing carbon neutral journeys between UK and continental Europe, has welcomed the large cut in VAT on meals in restaurants and cafes in France.
The French government has reduced VAT on meals eaten out from 19.6% to just 5.5%, in a move that will be welcomed by British visitors to Paris. The new VAT level matches the 5.5% rate on food sold in supermarkets.
Simon Montague, Director of Communications, Eurostar said: "This is really good news for travellers wanting to take a short holiday in France. A little break can make a big difference, and this large reduction in VAT on meals in restaurants and cafes will make people's money go further."
The reduction in the VAT rate when eating out effectively compensates for last year's strengthening of the euro against the pound and means that travellers from Britain can continue to enjoy the full range of wonderful dishes available in some of the finest restaurants and cafes for which Paris is famous around the world.
Notes to Editors
1 Eurostar operates up to 19 trains a day to Paris in 2h15 non-stop and 10 trains a day to Brussels in as little as 1h51. It also servces Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International in Kent, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Leisure Select return fares start from just £119 from London, with excellent value, connecting fares from over 140 towns and cities across Britain to more than 100 destinations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
3. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
4. Under its Tread Lightly environmental plan, Eurostar is aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% per traveller journey by 2012, compared with 2007.
5. Eurostar is the world's first train operator to make all journeys carbon neutral, at no extra cost to travellers.
6. Research commissioned by Eurostar shows that based on actual passenger numbers and specific energy data, a Eurostar journey generates just one-tenth of the carbon dioxide emissions of an equivalent flight.
7. Eurostar and Friends of the Earth are working together in the UK on Eurostar's Tread Lightly initiative and Friends of the Earth's climate change campaign. To find out more about Friends of the Earth visit
8. Eurostar is an entirely separate company from Eurotunnel. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
9. To book tickets or for more travel information, please or call 08705 186 186.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7843