Half of all UK holidaymakers have admitted the increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) next year will have a negative impact on their travel plans, a new report by World Travel Market reveals.
More than a quarter (26%) say they will only take short haul breaks next year instead of long haul holidays as a result of the increases, while 19% said they will be forced to reduce the number of overseas holidays they take.
One in 20 admitted they will be forced to take a domestic break instead of an overseas holiday following the rise which will see the most expensive bracket cost £188 per person in APD as of 1 April, 2013.
While 26% of Brits added their plans for overseas trips would remain unchanged following the increase, worryingly 18% of the 1,001 consumers questioned said they were still unsure as to what impact the increase would have.
UK holidaymakers’ fears are replicated by the travel industry. Of the 1,310 senior travel industry professionals questioned for the World Travel Market Industry Report 2012, 36% of those questioned think Brits will choose short haul holidays instead of long haul holidays, while a further 34% said fewer long haul holidays will be taken.
An additional 19% believe fewer holidays overall will be taken.
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said: “Next year’s increase in APD has long been a concern of the travel industry but it is still surprising to see just how pessimistic it is. However, when you consider half the UK market has said the changes will negatively impact their choice of holiday next year then it seems the industry is right to be concerned.
“APD had continued to be increased by all governments since it was introduced in 1994 as a simple £5 UK and EU tax and £10 for everywhere else. From next year the highest rate will be £188 per person.
“The travel and tourism industry contributes almost 10% of the UK’s GPD. One has to question the UK government’s strategy and how counterproductive APD is as a tax.”