The travel industry has always felt that it has had to shout louder than some industries to have its voice heard when it comes to UK government policy. This year has been no exception. I am sure you cannot have missed the clarion call from airlines, tour operators and other sectors of our industry to force the Coalition Government to reverse their decision to increase Air Passenger Duty (APD) by a double-inflation 8%. However, the calls have fallen on deaf ears as the Chancellor in his budget confirmed the increase from 1st April 2012 with a further inflationary increase in a year’s time. Since APD was introduced here in 1994, annual revenue raised by the tax has increased by 250 per cent and this year alone, £2.6bn of holidaymakers’ and business travellers’ money will go to the Treasury.
From our clients’ point of view this tax will increase the cost of flying and in turn holiday and short break prices. Here in the Channel Islands, we feel disproportionately penalised as passengers flying here from the UK are charged the same APD as someone flying to Athens – which is more than 40 times the distance!
Anyway turning to more positive thoughts, the clocks went forward last weekend and we are now looking forward to Easter – always a popular time for visiting the islands for a long weekend. There’s a lot of late demand coming through, probably partly driven by the wonderful weather we are currently enjoying. Long may this continue!
It’s always nice to see new accommodation coming onto the market and a couple of weeks ago I went to the opening of Jersey’s La Place’s Cottages – which are simply excellent and amongst the best the island has to offer. I urge you take a look at them and would highly recommend them to you for a week or two this summer. You can find out more and how to book by clicking here La Place Country Cottages.
Whether you are at home or away this Easter, I hope you enjoy a wonderful long weekend break.