“Air Passenger Duty will do nothing but harm the tourism industry,” says Francesca Ecsery, Global Sales Director of Cheapflights, the UK’s leading flight comparison website.
“A number of airlines, tourist boards and industry associations are challenging the tax, and with good reason. Tourism is a leading employer in many developing countries – most of which will be hit by high increases as part of long-haul destinations. By lumbering passengers with this tax, long-haul trips will rise rapidly in cost, fewer people will travel and developing countries will lose an essential income stream.
“Much of the tourism industry is already operating on slim margins in the recession to ensure holidays remain affordable for the British public. By going ahead with APD rises, the UK will lose out in the long run as airlines switch to cheaper European bases and holidaymakers fly via third countries to avoid the charges.
“The Dutch government implemented a similar tax and it failed. The UK will be the only country in the world to have this tax and with a federal election looming, it could turn out into a political hot potato for the Government.
“We at Cheapflights hope the Government listens to the crowd of voices speaking out against APD and abolishes the tax before it irrevocably tarnishes both inbound and outbound tourism in the UK.”