Leading Travel Agents and Officials call on new government to reform Travel Taxes
Travel agents and travel brands are urging the new coalition government to scrap the proposed increase in Air Passenger Duty and instead make changes to the financial protection scheme for the Air Travel Organisers' Licence.
Leading travel agents, tour operators and industry officials spoke at a recent Association of British Travel Agents' (ABTA) conference and urged the new appointed government to scrap the APD rises which are due to be effective from later this year and concentrate their efforts on improving the financial protection scheme for the Air Travel Organisers' Licence (ATOL) which protects consumers.
The new coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat government announced that they intend to scrap individual Air Passenger Duty and introduce a per-plan tax instead but travel agents and consumers are worried that these plans will not be put in place before the APD increases are due in November this year.
A controversial banding system is currently in place which bases APD on capital cities. For example from November, a family of four enjoying Barbados holidays will pay £600 in APD for premium flights to the Caribbean island, but the APD would be considerably lower if the family were flying to further afield destinations such as Hawaii.
Dermot Blastland, the Managing Director of TUI Travel UK, is urging the government to look at the impact the rising taxes will have on an already fragile market and dismissed reports that APD is a considered a green tax.
"APD doesn't encourage environmentally-sensible behaviour, as there is no incentive to get rid of inefficient aircraft. Travel is a very price-sensitive market, not at all a well-heeled, easy-to-tax area," Blastland said.
With ongoing disruption caused by strikes from British Airways and the volcanic ash cloud recently closing British airspace, the UK travel market is experiencing turbulent times as well as recovering from the aftermath of the global recession.
Chief Executive of ABTA, Mark Tanzer said:
"We face unprecedented upheaval on many levels: customers are less confident than they were before the volcanic ash cloud, we have civil unrest in some of our core destinations, and there are the BA strikes. What we need are fair taxes that don't suppress demand."
Last month ABTA carried out a campaign aimed at urging UK travellers to book their breaks with their travel agents and members to ensure that they are covered in the wake of the volcanic ash crisis.
The campaign's strap line for a series of regional print adverts read: "When it comes to having a great holiday, don't leave anything to chance."
It is hoped that the outcome of this will lead to more travellers booking ATOL protected holidays where consumers can enjoy stress-free breaks during these turbulent times.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 19:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
Stay close to all the action in a fabulous resort that's part of a beautiful ecological reserve and sits right next to Xcaret, Cancun's number one theme park.
- This resort is a fantastic choice for an exciting family holiday that you will never forget, why not make it extra special by upgrading to visit the amazing Xcaret Park (extra charges apply)
- Limitless all-inclusive fun and thrills for everyone in a beautiful eco-reserve facing a glorious beach
- Enjoy access to 11 Restaurants and 10 Bars catering to every taste and occasion & access to 7 glorious Swimming Pools including 1 at Royal Level, 1 salt water pool only for adults and 1 children's pool
Delight in the best Cuba has to offer with this stunning beach and city twin centre holiday
- Add Havana half-day tour from £49pp, taking in Revolution Square, Malecón and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana
- Iberostar Tainos is designed in the style of a traditional Caribbean village with two-storey bungalows that comprise spacious and elegant rooms
- Enjoy a historic stay in Havana at the NH Capri Hotel, which opened in 1957 and was initially run by the mafia
A superb combination of great accommodation and exciting activities make this resort one of Cuba's hottest properties
- Previous winner of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and ranked in the top 5 Hotels in Varadero
- Full range of Spa treatments for a more relaxing break, or a selection of water and land sports to choose from for the more active traveller
- Enjoy a range of tours and excursions
- Couples can benefit from a free bottle of sparkling wine and a romantic dinner for two, plus a 30 min massage per couple
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then Stay next to Cuba's famous Varadero beach
- Exclusive Couples offer - Welcome Cocktail, 1 hour free Wifi Access in Havana plus a bottle of wine on arrival, 30-minute massage and a Romantic Dinner in Varadero
- Blau Varadero offers something for everyone with as little or as much as you want to do on offer including a spa
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 28th Feb
- Be swept away by the amazing views of Havana from Capri's rooftop pool
One of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
Come to the beautiful island of Barbados and feel the magic of the Caribbean sun. Seven rejuvenating days in the...
You can enjoy all the aspects of this charming island, as the elegant eco-friendly property is located near all the...
Escape to the pristine beaches of the south coast of Barbados for a holiday you will never forget at Coconut Court Beach...