Kenya calls on UK to reconsider increasing Air Passenger Duty
Kenya's Tourism Minister, Najib Balala, called on the UK Government to reconsider plans to again increase its Air Passenger Duty from 01-Nov-2010 (Capital FM Kenya, 02-Oct-2010). Mr Balala stated the increase would negatively affect tourist arrivals to the country, particularly following the global financial downturn. Tourist arrivals from the UK to the country have recovered since the downturn, with numbers up 7% year-on-year in Jul-2010, to 96,000.
Kenyan Government: “Citizens from developing countries are hit hard by visa fees and Air Passenger Duty tax though they have not contributed to air pollution. The British are not sincere and genuine about these taxes because the planes also pollute our air and we get nothing in compensation. If it is truly out of environmental concerns, then all the affected countries should get a share of the GBP3 billion collected every year … Kenya gave a 50% visa fee discount early in the year in a view to cushion tourists from the financial crisis only for them to be slapped by Airport Passenger Duty of GBP50 by the UK. There is urgent need to review and abolish altogether the tax as it does not serve the purpose nor help promote the growth of tourism in the world,” Najib Balala, Tourism Minister. Source: Capital FM Kenya, 02-Oct-2010.