Stena Line, one of the world’s largest ferry operators, has announced it is predicting a 100 per cent increase in Indian passengers in 2011 on its twice daily ferry service between Harwich and the Hook of Holland.
Some 10,000 Indian tourists travelled the route between Harwich and the Hook of Holland in 2010 and 20,000 are expected to travel it in 2011 as Indians holidaying in Europe are trying to avoid the Air Passenger Duty (APD) costs that would be incurred if they chose to fly back home from the UK.
India is in the APD band C which means that the tax has doubled at the end of 2010 to £100 for standard class passengers and to £150 for premium passengers. Indian tourists who traditionally travel around on a trip to Europe are deliberately planning their itineraries to avoid flying back to India from the UK to prevent paying the newly increased charge.
Lars Olsson, general manager of Stena Line said, “Whilst I am not condoning the hike in APD, there has definitely been a huge upturn in traffic for Stena Line, particularly from the Indian market, who are ensuring they create a comfortable and relaxing itinerary that means they do not have to fly back from the UK.”
Stena Line offers six hour overnight and daytime ferry crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, aboard the largest Superferries in the world, the Stena Line Hollandica and Britannica, which were launched in 2010.