ABTA welcomed comments made by opposition leader David Cameron last week in Devon to appoint a dedicated tourism minister should he win the election, but was disappointed at a lack of concrete proposals for the outbound sector.
Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “It is encouraging that the Conservatives say they will create a senior ministerial position to protect and fight the interests of the tourism industry, but we have no sign yet that this minister would have the outbound sector in his or her remit.
“ABTA Members turned over £23 billion last year - the aviation sector alone added £2 billion straight into the treasury’s coffers from APD - while 60 million trips were taken overseas by British people helping to contribute £1 billion to developing economies. All political parties therefore need to understand the importance of having a Whitehall department with a lead responsibility for tourism to include domestic, inbound and outbound sectors.”
In addition ABTA’s manifesto was launched at the Houses of Parliament on 9 March 2010 and called for the following five key points to be implemented by a newly elected Government:
1. To reform consumer protection so that all holidays, flights and accommodation are protected.
2. To reform Air Passenger Duty so that airlines are incentivised to fly full planes with a fair tax contribution based not on passenger numbers but on the fuel efficiency of the aircraft and more closely aligned to the distance travelled.
3. To safeguard jobs by cutting down on red tape and other barriers to running successful businesses.
4. To increase airport capacity all across the UK, but especially in the South East of England so that we are able to meet current and future needs.
5. To create a dedicated Minister of Tourism and give a Whitehall department the lead responsibility for all three tourism sectors, domestic inbound and outbound.