PATA’s new chief executive has called on tourism ministers to step up on action against Air Passenger Duty asit threatens tourism growth in their destinations. After arriving at WorldTravel Market in London last week, Martin Craigs said that governments needed advocacy against what he called the ‘stealth’ tax and announced at the UNWTO Ministers Summit that he is to write a letter to the UK government against APD.
Craigs later told Travel Daily that several ministers had approached him afterthe summit in support of the letter and agreed to sign it. These included ministers from Africa, the Caribbean and South America, as well as Taleb Rifai,secretary general at UNWTO. In addition, Craigs criticized the British government for not engaging in tourism and its events.
“No British representation turned up [to the summit] so how much longer can London just host these and not turn up to thank them for business?” questioned Craigs. “Alsoto add insult to injury to APD, there will be the ETS which is beyond comprehension. Most bizarrely tourism shows an area of growth in economy and unemployment so surely this should be the first thing to encourage and not inhibit. I think there is momentum but the world has changed and Britain needs more tourism. Why increase the barrier to entry?”.