WTM 2013: APD rise 'will adversely affect industry'

WTM 2013: APD rise 'will adversely affect industry'

Seven out of ten senior industry executives attending World Travel Market predict that a rise in APD next year will adversely effect the industry, according to WTM's annual report.

A further 65% said it will deter foreign tourists from coming to the UK.

APD is set to rise again next year, taking the highest APD cost up to £388 from £376 for a flight more than 6,000 miles in first class.

Air Passenger Duty was introduced in 1994 on outbound flights fm the UK, with a £5 rate for UK/EU flights and £10 for everywhere else.

Stephen Sackur, who was presenting the findings of the WTM industry report, said consumers were becoming "very sensitive" over APD.

He said: "A third of UK holidaymakers say they won't even consider a long-haul flight because it is too expensive because of APD and four out of ten, 39%, will only consider short-haul flights which won't experience a rise in APD next year."

Highlighting the Davies Commission report, Sackur said there was support for further capacity at airports in London and the southeast.

He said more than half of the industry believe London and the southeast does require more capacity to keep its position as global aviation hub.

He added: "47% fear London could lose its place as a major hub even if a decision is made to expand capacity.

"That is partly because we see trends overseas which clearly suggest others are moving ahead in this race to build the biggest and best aviation hubs around the world.  

"For example, Dubai airport has increased its capacity to 160 million and Turkey is building a six-runway airport which will be the biggest in the world when it opens, supposedly in 2017."

The report's findings show growing support for Heathrow, with 40% of the industry supporting its expansion, compared with 29% last year. Of holidaymakers, 19% support expansion at Heathrow.

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