If Merlin have an issue with the VAT then they should put something on the website to say so, something that can explain their stance and maybe even drum up a bit of support for their cause. Right now it is just confusing and messy.
They are doing on other sites, both Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle have explanations of what they are doing, in fact Warwick Castle goes quite in depth. That's the only way this campaign can work, because otherwise customers really won't care, they just want to know what they will be paying.
VAT at 20% is just too much to handle inclusively, it's horrid, it really is. As you say, many tech and construction companies do prices exclusive of VAT.
That is surely because most of their customers will be offsetting that VAT, so the price excluding VAT is practical information for them. Alton Towers is in an entirely different industry, and almost none of a theme park's customers will be able to offset the VAT, so supplying the price excluding VAT is a redundant piece of information.
The thing is, if Merlin were to get their way on this, what would the chances of Merlin Passing on the saving to their customers? I think their track record probably suggests not. Or more likely they would provide a small price cut which hides a substantial rise in profits for the company... and the customers would still end up paying for it somewhere along the lines, because in the current climate a reduction in tax in one area will only lead to a rise somewhere else.
Edwardo..... move me!