Aviation Taxation

Air Passenger Duty Tax Threatens Northern Ireland Tourism
The Northern Ireland tourism industry will face a major blow this autumn as plans for new taxes for airline passengers are implemented. The head of a leading travel association has predicted that the emergence of these new taxes has the potential to hit the tourism sector hard. The head of ABTA has also voiced concerns about the negative impact that this Air Passenger Duty tax will have especially as early predictions show a rise of around 33% on current costs.
In 2008, over 8 million passengers arrived in Northern Ireland’s airports, as over 75% of travellers entering the UK arrive by air this means that the tax will significantly increase the holiday expense for these visitors. Northern Ireland’s tourism industry is one of the country’s biggest financial assets therefore extra expense will potentially hinder this vital industry.
Northern Ireland has recently released their tourism strategy for the next few years which aims to increase visitor revenue to around £1 billion by 2020 and bring in around £4.5 million visitors into the country. With a commitment to raising the profile of the country it seems that the tourism ministers are planning a bold and ambitious marketing campaign to ensure that Northern Ireland attracts larger visitor numbers.
Although the plans for inbound tourism are set to be implemented, the Air Passenger Duty tax will have an adverse on outbound tourism which is equally important to the country. Northern Ireland residents spend around £77 million annually on outbound travel which ensures that any jobs connected to the travel industry are secure. Travel agents, airport employees and tour operators will all face the prospect of decreased business numbers when the aviation tax begins this year.

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