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WTTC attacks air taxation plans

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling upon the Austrian Presidency to withdraw plans for raising funds through the taxation of international air travel.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President, said “Air travel to, from and within European countries is an important generator of income, not only for governments and industry but also for the millions of small and medium sized Travel & Tourism enterprises which it supports. Travel & Tourism is a channel through which the Lisbon priorities of jobs and growth can be achieved and people should therefore be encouraged to travel rather than taxed for doing so.”

It seems inappropriate that specific industry sectors, such as aviation, should form the vehicle for such funds to be collected. Furthermore, to target a sector which is already under increased pressure due to the high price of fuel, creates an extra burden.

Mr Baumgarten continued, “Aviation is a vital component of the Travel & Tourism industry - one of the world’s largest industries. In the EU alone, Travel & Tourism is expected to contribute more than 11 per cent of global GDP and account for more than 24 million jobs in 2005. It is an industry whose benefits reach all sectors of society and provides a potential form of income for even the most remote areas.”