APD reform will make little difference, say Global travel agents

APD reform will make little difference, say Global travel agentsBy Juliet Dennis,

Reform of Air Passenger Duty will make little if any difference to business, according to Global travel agents.

From next April the air tax will be simplified into a two band system for short-haul and long-haul flights, scrapping the two highest bands. The Caribbean will be the main winner of the change, which means holidaymakers travelling to the destination will now pay the same as those travelling to the US.

But agents quizzed about APD on stage at this year’s Global Travel Conference claimed the change – a surprise move announced in last week’s government budget – would have little impact on bookings, particularly in the luxury sector.

Travel Designers’ managing director Nick Harding-McKay said: “For what people already spend on luxury holidays, a saving here and there will not make a difference.”

But he conceded: “For people going home to see their family, this might make a difference, but this is not really our market.”

Lee Hunt, managing director of Deben Travel, added: “I don’t think it [the change in APD] will make any difference. I think the press and the government should focus on the benefits of booking with travel agents.”

Sourced by Travel Weekly

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