WTTC informs governments about ways to implement policies that encourage the growth of Travel & Tourism. This means planning and investing in appropriate infrastructure and creating a tax regime that allows the private sector to be competitive. It means policies that encourage a healthy business environment, one which is conducive to stimulating our sector, not stifling its development.
If Travel & Tourism is to realise its full potential as a creator of jobs and economic prosperity, the sector needs clear support at government level. All too often that’s not the case and the finance ministry views tourists as a revenue source instead of a revenue generator. Taxation on tourism – particularly on air travel – is rampant all over the world and WTTC’s research proves the damaging effect it is having on our sector. We have made it a priority to raise awareness of the negative impact punitive taxation has on inbound and outbound tourism.
We recognise that every sector should pay its fair share of tax, but this should be done justifiably. WTTC applies five principles to determine how ‘intelligent’ the tax is. We ask whether it’s equitable, efficient, simple, a fair means of generating revenue, and an effective stimulus to growth. Our research demonstrated, for example, that UK Air Passenger Duty is damaging UK GDP by approximately GBP4billion per annum and costing 90,000 jobs. Our more recent findings revealed that in the USA, taxes on air travel were higher than those on alcohol and tobacco – goods that are taxed to discourage consumer spending. Our job is far from done on the taxation front and we will continue to advocate that governments reduce the tax burden on our sector.