PATA chief executive Martin Craigs has met with Lord Stephen Green, UK minister for trade and investment to advance the its advocacy platform on behalf of members.
Lord Green invited Craigs to the meeting, at which Craigs took the opportunity to underline PATA’s fundamental remit to support and foster travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.
He also outlined how PATA’s membership successfully straddled the public and private sectors from national tourist authorities to global multinationals, to multi various SMEs, creating synergy and unique opportunities for all.
Craigs explained how PATA’s advocacy role was increasing in importance, bringing strategic issues of concern to the travel and tourism industry to the attention of decision makers and encouraging a dialogue between governments and those in the industry.
He said that PATA was looking for opportunities to promote ‘aligned advocacy’ with other stakeholders such as IATA, UNWTO and WTTC.
He told Lord Green that PATA recognised the vital importance of London as a regional and global hub, and as an international centre city of influence, reach and business opportunities.
Craigs, a UK national, described how the controversial UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) was having a detrimental impact on the travel and tourism industry, not least because of the rise in the tax by eight per cent as of April 1st, 2012.
The amount raised from this tax was more than the combined projected profits of all 233 IATA airlines in 2012.
Both parties agreed that it reflected the fragility of the airline sector.
The minister was sympathetic to the issue and undertook to raise the matter with Treasury.
However, he cautioned that in the present economic climate it would be unlikely that the policy would be reversed. In response, Mr Craigs asked for the APD to be capped or, as a minimum, not to be raised at a higher rate than UK inflation.