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Industry body calls on Chancellor to assist travellers

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has set out a ‘five point’ action plan to help the tourism industry

The Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce his budget on 21 March and ABTA has written to the Chancellor outlining areas where improvements and incentives could be made to boost the travel and tourism sector, and making the entire travel experience cheaper and more enjoyable for Brits.

For many travellers a common gripe when planning on jetting off abroad is Air Passenger Duty (APD). The government has currently got in place plans to increase APD in April 2012. ABTA is calling on the government to instead accept industry recommendations to offset EU Emission Trading Scheme revenues against APD.

ABTA also claim that the government’s emphasis on UK domestic tourism, illustrated by the latest £4million ‘staycation’ campaign featuring the likes of Stephen Fry, is ‘lop-sided’ and does nothing to assist the multi-million revenues that inbound and outbound tourism create for Britain. “The Chancellor has it within his power in the Budget to create the economic conditions necessary for the travel and tourism industry to thrive,” said Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA.”

Additional research undertaken by YouGov for ABTA suggests that the UK focused travel campaign, designed to encourage domestic tourism during this Jubilee and Olympic year, may fail at changing our minds about where we holiday. .

The research found that only 4% of people said that they would be inspired by government advertising when thinking about where to go on holiday. When it comes to choosing where to go, travellers are more often influenced by recommendations by family and friends, as well as travel websites.

ABTA's five questions at a glance

  • 1. Air Passenger Duty (APD) – ABTA would like the government to revisit plans to increase APD in April.
  • 2. Increase the UK's connectivity – Encourage the government to invest in UK aviation hubs and increased connectivity between these airports.
  • 3. Address squeezed consumer spending – The Chancellor should reduce the tax burden on families and encourage sustainable family holidays.
  • 4. Promote all three types of tourism equally - the Government needs to support the domestic, inbound and outbound sectors equally.
  • 5. Cut Red Tape - ABTA are calling on the Chancellor to support the removal of FSA regulations for sales of travel insurance and in lifting the onerous burden of the Money Laundering Regulations from companies selling foreign currency.
  • Date Created: 27 March 2012

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