06 Mar

ABTA's statement on the Budget

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA – The Travel Association, said:

“The headline news of a 2p National Insurance cut may put some money back in people’s pockets but, with tax thresholds held, total tax take will remain high. Travel and tourism have flourished in the past year despite this wider economic backdrop but it remains to be seen if this move will create a new ‘feelgood factor’ which encourages bookings.

“We welcome the extension of Covid recovery loan scheme, which will provide access to government-backed finance for SMEs at a time when the cost of doing business is increasing. ABTA has been speaking regularly to government about the pressures facing ABTA members and we continue to urge the government to work with banks to ensure leniency around repayment timelines to help businesses recover from the pandemic.

“The increase in Air Passenger Duty on non-economy-class flights must not become the thin end of the wedge. ABTA’s research shows that travel and tourism can grow faster than the rest of the economy over the next few years but only with the right policy framework. Any additional or new taxes on aviation have the potential to be a drag on our sector, at a time when the UK already has one of the greatest air travel tax burdens in the world.

“In a likely election year, we will continue to strongly communicate to both Government and opposition parties the importance of our sector - in wealth creation, economic contribution, employment and trade.”