WTTC condemns new $25 billion US raid on air travel

WTTC condemns new $25 billion US raid on air travel

The World Travel & Tourism Council has today condemned a $25 billion raid on airline passengers in the United States as “confused and counter-productive” and called on the US Administration to think again about taxing an industry that is a driver of the US economic recovery.

The US Administration is proposing to raise $25 billion over 10 years through changes to the Aviation Passenger Security (APS) fee. APS is currently levied at between $2.50 and $5.00. Under the proposals, the current range will be replaced with a statutory fee mini­mum of $5.00, with annual incremental increases of 50 cents from 2013 to 2017, to reach $7.50 in 2017.

Of the $25 billion additional revenue raised over 10 years, at least $15 billion be used for general taxation purposes, rather than passenger security.

Speaking after meetings today on Capitol Hill, Washington, David Scowsill, WTTC President & CEO, said:

“We fully support the US Administration’s efforts to reduce its debt burden, but do not believe it is good economics to raid $25 billion from an industry that is a driver of growth and recovery at a time when President Obama is keen to create millions of job through the $450 billion American Jobs Act.

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“Travel & Tourism currently contributes more than US$1,300 billion or 9% of total US GDP, generates 9% of its total exports and supports 15 million jobs. Taxes on Travel & Tourism tend to do more harm than good economically – as higher charges discourage high-spending visitors. Indeed, the US Administration recognises that each and every visitor contributes $4,000 to the economy.

“WTTC believes that this plan has a laudable objective but it is confused and likely to be counter-productive. We urge the Obama Administration to send this plan back to the drawing board with instructions to promote an industry which will drive economic recovery and job creation – not damage it.”

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