28 Oct

Budget and COP26

Yesterday’s Budget was disappointingly consistent with the Government’s approach to the travel industry over the last 18 months – not a penny of tailored funding while at the same time other sectors are supported with tax relief or tax cuts.

If you are a retail business then there was some good news – a 50% reduction in business rates due for the 2022/23 financial year.  This is something ABTA has been pushing the Government on – both publicly and behind the scenes – so it is good to see the Government respond to our calls. But, other than the removal of double-taxation on domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD) from April 2023, that’s where the positives end.

The Chancellor also said he was ‘making changes to reduce carbon emissions from aviation’ and announced an increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD) on long haul flights. 

As it stands, APD is not – and has never been – an environmental tax; the revenues are not hypothecated or used for environmental purposes, such as investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuels, or incentivising use of newer, cleaner aircraft.  ABTA has consistently expressed our commitment to a fair tax on the travel industry, which reflects the economic benefits the sector brings to the UK and recognises the environmental impacts of travel. You can read our full media response to the Budget here

Next week the UK Government will be hosting COP26 in Glasgow. Climate change is a global threat.  All industries need to reduce their carbon emissions, and travel and tourism is no exception.  We need the Government to work with the industry to deliver the policy support necessary.

ABTA is supporting Members with guidance and advice on what they can do to reduce carbon emissions and championing best practice from those Members who already have sustainability embedded in the heart of their business and are happy to share their knowledge and experience with others.  We will be holding an event during COP26 on ‘Decarbonising tourism’ which will showcase action across the industry on the transition towards net zero. The webinar is on 11 November and is free for ABTA Members to join. You can book online here. You may also be interested to read a blog by ABTA’s Head of Sustainability, Clare Jenkinson, on how tourism is tackling climate change.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive