Less means more for NI tourism

Doreen McKenzie
Doreen McKenzie

Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality sector has been urged to back a nationwide call for action to support a cut in UK Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance (NITA), the umbrella group which represents key public and private sector players within the industry, has called on members to back the Fair Tax on Flying campaign and lobby their MPS to do the same.

“This is a tax levied on every passenger travelling on every flight departing from airports in the United Kingdom,” said NITA CEO Doreen McKenzie.

“It’s the highest tax of its kind in the world and markedly higher than any imposed by our European neighbours.

“The effects of the UK’s exorbitant APD rate are particularly pernicious in Northern Ireland – indeed, our airports have found themselves massively handicapped since the Republic’s equivalent tax was set at zero.

“A cut in APD would dramatically improve the connectivity of Northern Ireland’s airports and enhance our tourism industry by allowing us to be able to compete on a more level playing field.

“This year Northern Ireland tourism will have broken through the billion pound barrier but we cannot be complacent, a reduction in APD will enable us to increase tourism growth making it a key economic driver. The time to act is now.”