PATA questions UK government policy on air departure taxes


The UK government’s decision to raise departure taxes from British airports is short-sighted and self-defeating. That’s the view of Brian Deeson, interim president and CEO of PATA, the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

“At a time when the travel and tourism industry is facing an unprecedented threat to long-term financial stability, we see a government in Europe imposing tax increases which pose a real threat to jobs and businesses, not only in the UK, but in destinations across the Asia Pacific region,” said Brian Deeson.

“PATA is an organization committed totally to sustainable development in travel and tourism. This move by the UK government is simply about increasing revenues for the state under the very dubious cover of consolidating its green credentials.”

PATA supports the views expressed today by ATEC, the Australian Tourism Export Council, particularly in respect of the threat to tourism markets in emerging markets such as the south Pacific.

“Ironically, this is a move by the British government that could easily backfire. Travelers seeking value on long-haul routes may now choose an airport in mainland Europe as their principal point of entry and exit. This will increase short-haul traffic to and from the UK and increase carbon emissions. Long-haul flights, by comparison, are more environmentally-friendly on a mile-by-mile basis,” added Mr. Deeson. “We’re happy to pay our fair share, but these latest tax increases are a disproportionate burden for our industry to bear.”