According to new in Travel Weekly www.travelweekly.co.uk, Abta has hailed “the incredible success” of the travel industry’s Fair Tax on Flying coalition but the association says there is still more work to be done to increase consumer awareness of the “hidden” taxes on flying.
Consumer research by TNS, published by Travel Weekly, found “no evidence of increased awareness of APD” recently, despite the Fair Tax on Flying campaign this summer which saw more than 200,000 people email MPs.
However as Luke Pollard, head of public affairs at Abta points out: “We know the average flier does not know how much tax they pay. That is one of the problems with APD – it’s a technical tax.
“We started from a low base of consumer awareness and one of the key things we wanted to do was raise awareness among MPs.”
Although the TNS research claims there has “been no significant change in behaviour and attitudes to APD” over the past year, Mr Pollard emphasised the success so far of the Fair Tax on Flying campaign which has its own page on Facebook and website. He noted: “We are in a much stronger position than we were a year ago.” Details about how consumers can support the campaign are at www.afairtaxonflying.org.
He told Travel Weekly that the Fair Tax on Flying coalition action was the result of a lunch with MPs who had been saying ‘APD is not a post-bag issue’, adding, “No MP can say that now. They are all aware – and that is a success.”
The coalition wants the Treasury commission a full review of APD’s impact.
Shockingly, Britons and British timeshare owners of course may be paying up to 400% times the APD levels that other Europeans pay – as an example, a family of four flying to a Florida timeshare resort this year would have to fork out up to £260 in Air Passenger Taxes, compared to £80 just five years ago.
Pollard continued: “MPs and ministers want to hear a clear message and that has been new from the industry. The fact we’ve held together – there are 47 organisations in A Fair Tax on Flying – and are near to a second anniversary is incredible.
“The challenge is to keep it up. We have to strike a careful balance between highlighting the effect of APD and not putting people off flying.”
Fair Tax on Flying believes that APD is damaging outbound tourism and is also making inbound tourism less competitive.
Looking ahead to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on December 5, Mr. Pollard said: “The pressure is on the Chancellor to respond.
About the Fair Tax on Flying campaign
A Fair Tax on Flying campaign consists of over 30 leading travel organisations including airlines, airports, trade associations and destinations. The campaign has created a dedicated Facebook page www.facebook.com/afairtaxonflying to raise awareness of the tax and allow consumers to register their views.
Fair Tax on Flying campaign members:
ABTA – the Travel Association, American Airlines, Airport Operators Association, Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, British Airline Pilots’ Association, British Airways, BAA, The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, British Air Transport Association, Blackpool Airport, BMI, Bristol Airport, Carlson Wagonlit, Definitive Caribbean, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, European Tour Operators Association, Expedia, Gatwick Airport, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Guild of Travel Management Companies, Jet2, Lastminute.com, Leeds Bradford International Airport, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, London City Airport, London Luton Airport, Manchester Airports Group, Manston Kent Airport, Monarch, Multicom, Newcastle International Airport, Newmount Travel, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, The Caribbean Council, The Co-operative Travel, Thomas Cook, Tourism Alliance, TUI Travel PLC, UKinbound, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, Wales Air Forum, World Travel and Tourism Council
You can contact the campaign team on:
Tel: 07793 224749