Voices of Travel

PATA, travel industry criticize UK passenger tax

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) held a politicians’ and travel industry leaders’ dinner in the House of Commons in London yesterday (Nov. 5) with the aim to draw attention to “unfair taxation and ill thought-out schemes that are hurting the travel industry, especially UK outbound travel to long-haul destinations.”The main tax under discussion at the dinner was the reviled UK Air Passenger Duty (APD). Fifty global business leaders, members of parliament, ministers from a range of PATA countries and international press joined the “aligned advocacy”event. The occasion, hosted by PATA CEO Martin J Craigs, was attended by Priti Patel MP, Andrew Rosindell MP, and Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO. The keynote speaker was Gloria Guevara, Secretary of Tourism, Mexico. Speaking after the event, Rifai said the dinner was a “triumph for next generation PATA activism”and a “major step on the road to aligned and effective advocacy for the travel and tourism.”During the dinner, Craigs applauded UK MP Priti Patel who led the UK parliamentary debate on Nov. 1. In her parliamentary address, Patel directly quoted the PATA CEO, saying, “The UK Air Passenger Duty is now the world’s highest by a wide margin. It is certainly turning away tourism and trade from the world’s fastest growing economic region [Asia Pacific].”The PATA CEO told the audience that 73% of PATA member destinations are in the two most heavily taxed bands of the UK APD – Band C and Band D. A UK passenger flying Australia has to pay â

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