New research from Blue Chip Holidays has revealed that the Chancellor's announcement to further increase the Air Passenger Duty (APD) levy rate by an additional 2.5% from next April could be beneficial to thousands of holiday home owners across the UK.
The announcement in the Autumn Statement marks the second time that APD has been upwardly adjusted in 12 months, and follows on from an eight per cent increase in April of this year.
These hikes have been greeted with dismay by travellers who typically take overseas trips. According to Blue Chip Holidays' research of over 800 customers conducted in the past week, the likely outcome is a further fall in such trips and an increase in holidays here in the UK. Its findings revealed that almost 18 per cent of those asked said that in the last year APD rises had put them off foreign travel. A further 38 per cent said that they had chosen UK self-catering holidays over overseas trips to save money.
These findings are supported by the Airport Operators Association (AOA), which has released its own study suggesting that passenger numbers will fall as a result of the hike. The survey consulted 26 UK airports for their opinion on the anticipated increase and one in four said that they expect passenger numbers to fall by more than five per cent next year. 73 per cent of airports declare themselves 'very worried' by the government's plans.
Commenting on the findings Alan Taylor, Managing Director of Blue Chip Holidays, which has over 800 four and five star holiday homes in the South West and Isle of Wight, said, "The Chancellor's announcement of a further hike in APD is clearly going to weigh on the minds of travellers, especially in these financially challenging times. Confronted with the possibility of hundreds of pounds being added to the cost of an overseas holiday, you can bet that travellers will think twice about the pound in their pocket and what value they can get for that here in the UK."
The positive news for the domestic holiday home sector is that customers who choose not to holiday overseas intend to spend the money they save here in the UK. 25 per cent of those polled in Blue Chip Holiday's survey said they'd upgrade their accommodation to somewhere really special while almost 24 per cent said they'd choose to use the money saved to truly treat themselves on their holiday in the UK. Almost 30 per cent said they'd use any money saved to take an additional domestic break in the UK.