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The spectre of
Brits shun summer trips abroad
ONS statistics reveal 12 per cent drop in overseas travel during 2009
By Pete Hayman
APD increases could backfire
New figures released by the Office of
on attempts to raise revenue
National Statistics (ONS) have shown that
Britons have continued to take less holidays
overseas in the three months to July 2009.
According to the latest International
KURT JANSON is
Passenger Survey, the number of visits
abroad by Britons fell by 1 per cent to 14.9
million, compared with the previous three
months, while seasonally adjusted figures
revealed a 12 per cent decline to 62.6
million in overseas travel during the 12
months to July 2009. More UK residents opted for 'staycations'
n my last column, I talked about However, the inbound tourism market
how any new government's treasury has now stabilised despite a long-term Despite the increase in the number of
team would be running a careful decline in visits to the UK. In the three visitors during the three-month period, the
eye over departmental budgets in an months to July 2009, the number of visits ONS has reported a 3 per cent decrease in
effort to identify and eliminate any into Britain increased by 2 per cent to 7.7 tourism expenditure by overseas residents
expenditure they considered to be million, although figures for the 12 months to £4bn, while UK residents' expenditure
providing a poor return on the public to July 2009 were down by 9 per cent, at on visits overseas has fallen by 6 per cent
investment. With this in prospect, it is 30.3 million, compared to the previous year. to £7.6bn compared with last year.
important to position tourism as being
a solution to the financial situation.
Of course, in addition to cutting
Ryanair withdraws all airport check-in desks
costs, any new government may also be
forced to consider increasing taxation. By Martin Nash
This could be through targeting specific
products and services where the Ryanair check-in desks are no longer
government thinks the increases will available at any airport from which the
not be strongly opposed, such as "sin" Ireland-based low-cost carrier operates.
taxes on things like cigarettes and Passengers now have to check-in online
alcohol. Aviation is increasingly being – at a fee of £5 or E5 – and those who wish
seen as falling into this category.
to check in luggage will have to use special
When Air Passenger Duty (APD) was
'bag drop' desks. The cost of checking in a
first introduced in the UK, rates were
single bag for a return flight is rising to
low. However, the rates have increased £30, with a second now costing £70.
significantly since 2006, first doubling
Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief
in 2007 and, in 2009, being replaced by image executive, said the measures were designed
a new charging scheme that will see Travellers will be forced to check-in online to save the airline around £46m a year.
APD increase by 140 per cent for
European visitors and by up to 325 per
cent for long-haul visitors in the space
Irish Sea ports combine to attract cruise ships
of just four years.
While this has increased revenue to Six Irish Sea ports have joined forces as Led by the Isle of Anglesey Council,
the Exchequer, recent work by the part of a new e1.2m (£1m, US$1.8m) the scheme has secured funding from the
Tourism Alliance has estimated that venture designed to attract more cruise European Regeneration Development
APD will reduce expenditure by tourists ship passengers to Wales and Ireland. Fund through the Interreg 4A initiative
to the UK by £1.35bn per annum. The Celtic Wave project – comprising to promote cross-border co-operation.
The risk is that tourism-related Anglesey, Milford Haven and Swansea in The Celtic Wave scheme will market
services, such as aviation, could well be Wales, and Cork, Dublin and Waterford itself as an eco-friendly proposition,
seen as easy targets in the new in Ireland – will provide a significant encouraging operators to sail around the
government's search for revenue. After economic boost to each destination. ports to cut costs and carbon emissions.
all, tourists don't vote.
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