ABTA Calls on International Community to Join Campaign Against APD

2012-11-05 — /travelprnews.com/ — As the world’s key players in the travel and tourism industry gather at World Travel Market in London, ABTA is calling for the international community to join the campaign against further increases in the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Britain’s aviation tax is the highest in the world. Since APD was introduced here in 1994, annual revenue raised by the tax has increased by 250 per cent. This year alone, £2.6bn of holidaymakers’ and business travellers’ money will go to the Treasury and by 2015, the Government has stated it will increase revenue from APD by a further £1.2bn.

ABTA believes this is having a direct impact on the travel and tourism industry as it makes the UK less attractive for other countries to do business with and makes air travel less affordable for UK passengers. In a recent ABTA survey* four in ten UK consumers said that high air taxes put them off flying, highlighting how the tax is influencing peoples’ travel decisions.

ABTA is part of the Fair Tax on Flying alliance,  which this summer launched a new campaign website: www.afairtaxonflying.org where both UK residents and non-UK residents can use an email template to call on the British Government to commission a review into the economic impacts of APD.

Mark Tanzer, CEO ABTA said: “In the UK we currently pay the highest air taxes in the world, this is not only putting people off visiting the UK but it also makes it less affordable for British passengers to travel, particularly to longer haul destinations. We would encourage all of you affected by the continued increases in this tax to make your voices heard. There are many ways to get involved, whether it is through your own governments, lobbying the UK Government or simply sending an email from our campaign website.”

For further information

Sean Tipton, Media Relations Manager, tel: 020 3117 0513
Gillian Edwards, Senior Public Relations Manager, 020 3117 0514
Victoria Bacon Head of Communications, tel: 020 3117 0515
Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via pager: 07659 190 987
E-mail: press@abta.co.uk
Web: www.abta.com
Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors

About ABTA
ABTA has been at the heart of travel for more than 60 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers – the travelling public – have confidence in their travel experience.

The ABTA brand stands for expertise, reliability and fairness. These qualities are core to us. They ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today’s changing travel landscape by providing schemes of financial protection and a course of redress if something goes wrong; by raising standards in the industry and by giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety; and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA currently has around 1,300 Members and represents over 5,000 retail outlets and offices. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we’re working at the heart of the industry to ensure that we continue to build confidence in travel visit www.abta.com.

* Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.

A Fair Tax on Flying Campaign
A Fair Tax on Flying campaign consists of over 30 leading travel organisations including airlines, airports, trade associations and destinations. More information can be found at www.afairtaxonflying.org and www.facebook.com/afairtaxonflying.

A Fair Tax on Flying campaign members: ABTA – the Travel Association, American Airlines, Airport Operators Association, Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives, British Airline Pilots’ Association, British Airways, BAA, The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, British Air Transport Association, Blackpool Airport, BMI, Bristol Airport, Carlson Wagonlit, European Tour Operators Association, Expedia, Gatwick Airport, Guild of Travel Management Companies, Jet2, Lastminute.com, Leeds Bradford International Airport, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London City Airport, London Luton Airport, Manchester Airports Group, Manston Kent Airport, Monarch, Newcastle International Airport, Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, The Caribbean Council, The Co-operative Travel, Thomas Cook, Tourism Alliance, TUI Travel PLC, UKinbound, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, World Travel and Tourism Council

More information about APD:
• The overall APD tax take increased significantly on 1st April 2012, after the Government implemented an 8% APD increase.
• Compared with seven years ago, APD rates have risen 160 per cent on short-haul, and up to 360 per cent on long-haul. Inflation over the period has been about 18 per cent.
• The Office for Budget Responsibility says that APD revenue is projected to rise from £2.76bn in 2011/12 to £3.9bn in 2016/17. The Treasury’s 2011 Budget documents assume annual increases in APD.
• A TripAdviser survey found that as many as 68% of UK travellers said the recently-increased air passenger duty (APD) would affect their travel plans, with 9% saying the impact would be “substantial”. Nearly two thirds (64%) believed APD to be unfair, with only 11% thinking it was fair.
• In December 2011, 50 cross-party parliamentarians wrote to the Chancellor urging him to re-think his plans to increase APD.
• An International Air Transport Association report (Dec 2011) said that “European carriers are by far in the most challenging position. Higher passenger taxes and weak home market economies have limited profitability in Europe.”
• By the Department for Transport’s own figures, aviation taxes exceed the sector’s environmental costs by over half a billion pounds every year.
• Many European countries including Belgium, Holland and Denmark have abandoned their aviation taxes, due to the negative effects on their economies. In the longer-term, analysis shows that the UK economy will forego £750m of wealth and 18,000 jobs due to the recent rises in APD (November 2010), with around half the extra revenue raised offset by tax revenue losses in the wider economy (source Oxera, 2009)

Air Passenger Duty – additional information:
The current rates of tax for economy class are below, along with the equivalent tax rate in previous years.

Bands 2006 2007 2009 2010 2012 % change 2006-2012
A (short-haul – up to 2000 miles) £5 £10 £11 £12 £13 160%
B (2001 -4000 miles) £20 £40 £45 £60 £65 225%

• Only four other European countries levy some form of air passenger tax.
o Denmark, Norway, Malta and Holland have all scrapped similar taxes as the revenue raised was outweighed by the damage caused to their economies.