The Chancellor's decision to allow the increases in Air Passenger Duty in the week’s Budget have drawn the anger of a UK inbound tourism association.
UKinbound chief executive Mary Rance said the one-off charge for anyone departing a UK airport will see economy class taxes between the UK and Europe rise by 10% from £11 to £12 next year while US passengers will see the taxes raise from £40 to £60 in 2010.
Long haul passengers travelling more than 6000 miles face even stiffer increases with the current £40 charge set to more than double at £85 in economy.
While the long haul increases would particularly hit passengers coming from three key inbound markets of Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, Rance is concerned the changes will mean yet another expense to put off potential visitors.
She added: “Inbound tourism has the potential to help bring the UK out of recession.
“Overseas visitors spent £16.4 billion here in the 2008, and with the current exchange rates and the potential to attract even more tourists, that figure could be even higher in 2009.
“However, the move to increase APD, as well as the massive visa costs levied against overseas visitors, will weaken our international competitiveness and deter travellers from visiting the UK.”
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