“A Tax On Tourism” – Aviation Industry’s Pre-Budget Message to the Chancellor

March 15th, 2012

As a signatory to joint industry letter, published in the Daily Telegraph today (15th March), ahead of the Budget next week, BATA has urged the Chancellor to re-think his plans for a double inflation increase in Air Passenger Duty and to freeze the tax on flying this year.

Letter published in the ‘Daily Telegraph’ on Thursday 15th March 2012

A tax on tourism

SIR – You report (March 12) that Air Passenger Duty (APD) is hitting the travelling public hard here in the UK. The consequences of levying Europe’s highest aviation tax will also be felt by incoming tourists. In the year of the Olympics, when we should be doing everything to encourage tourism, we’re likely to see some potential visitors avoiding the UK altogether.

Furthermore, those who do plan to come are finding ways to avoid paying APD: airport arrivals at European cities with high-speed rail links to London are already registering higher than normal air bookings, suggesting that some tourists plan to circumvent the tax through combined air-rail travel.

On Wednesday, George Osborne, the Chancellor, will present his Budget, at which he plans to increase APD from this April by doubling the rate of inflation. On behalf of the travelling public and the many thousands of businesses that depend on inbound tourism, we urge him to re-think his plans and to freeze APD this year.

John Parkin
Chief Executive, Leeds Bradford Airport

Simon J L Buck

Chief Executive, British Air Transport Association

Mary Rance

Chief Executive, UKInbound

Darren Caplan

Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association

Tracey Poggio

Chairman, Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives

Mike Carrivick

Chief Executive, Board of Airline Representatives in the UK

Mark Tanzer
Chief Executive, ABTA — The Travel Association