UKinbound has this morning written to three Government Ministers to express the anger and disappointment of inbound tourism businesses at Government’s lack of response to concerns over changes to Air Passenger Duty.Writing to Lord Adonis, Lord Mandelson and Barbara Follett, in their remits for transport, business and tourism, chief executive Mary Rance said the following:
“The imminent rise in APD has united both the inbound and outbound tourism industries and the entire business community against the Government. Not only will this decision damage the UK’s international competitiveness as a tourist destination it will also damage the potential of London to remain the leading place of business in Europe.
“The tourism industry has the potential to help the UK emerge from recession more quickly, but during this extremely difficult economic time the Government seems resolute in sticking to its plans to raise APD, in a move that threatens the potential for economic recovery and job creation, which travel and tourism can generate.
“Visit London, VisitBritain and other tourist boards have been working extremely hard marketing the UK overseas and in particular telling the world about the fantastic value currently available in the UK because of exchange rates. These marketing efforts, in some countries, generally see benefits around six months later - just at the time when the changes for Air Passenger Duty are proposed to begin. We see this timing as particularly damaging and could cancel out the fantastic work done by our tourism bodies to convince people to holiday in the UK.”
Mary Rance concluded by urging the Ministers to work together and as a matter of urgency stop or at the very least delay the impending changes to APD, “for the benefit of not only tourism businesses but of all UK businesses that trade with the rest of the world.”