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Why is another £2 tax on travelers in Britain such a big deal?

Excerpt from The Economist

Nov 09, 2012 1:02 am

Skift Take

It’s understandable why the British hate the APD tax (the highest in the world), but it’s unclear why the next increase, which in line with inflation, seems to be the straw to break the tourists’ backs.

— Samantha Shankman

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eGuide Travel  / Flickr.com

Passengers check in at Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport. eGuide Travel / Flickr.com


The annual travel-industry report published at this week’s World Travel Market makes a predictable attack on Air Passenger Duty (APD), the tax charged on every passenger flying out of Britain, except those on transfers.  The British travel industry has been riled by APD since its introduction in 1994, but it is currently getting particularly exercised by the increases planned to take effect next year.

I find it hard to understand why so many Britons say that the increases will force them to make fundamental changes to their travelling plans. Hmm. Band-A APD is staying the same, so the suggestion that 1 in 5 tourists are so put off by the thought of paying another £2 per person for trips in Bands B to D, that they will forgo a holiday abroad does not make sense.

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