ETW Staff– Mumbai
The UNWTO has welcomed the recent decision by the UK government to reform the Air Passenger Duty (APD). Many in the industry claim that the current APD system, in place since 2008, has significantly hindered UK’s tourism while creating important market distortions affecting long-haul destinations.
The existing band scheme, according to which values to be paid by travellers are calculated according to the distance between London and the destination country’s capital city, has made long distance flying out of the UK significantly more expensive when compared to other cities in Europe.
Taleb Rifai, secretary-general, UNWTO, said, “While taxes are a fundamental fiscal tool, there is a growing concern regarding a proliferation of levies on travel and tourism which produce market distortions and act as trade barriers, hampering fair competition between destinations. UNWTO, alongside partners such as WTTC, IATA, CTO and PATA, has been long advocating for the revision of the APD. This measure is a welcome news and we trust the UK economy as well as the economies of destinations with strong links to the UK will all benefit from this decision.”
The UK’s announcement to review the APD follows similar reforms taken by countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Australia. Australia also recently froze its Passenger Movement Charge (PMC).