Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has called for UK travel taxation to be switched from airline seats to hotel rooms, in a move that would mirror the US policy (The Telegraph/Breaking Travel News, 04-Jun-2011). Mr O’Leary said a GBP1 per night tax on hotel rooms could recover a significant proportion of what is now raised by APD, whilst also encouraging both in and outbound travel from the UK and by lowering travel costs. “Visitor numbers to Britain have fallen from 33 million to 29.5 million since 2007. That represents around GBP2 billion in lost revenue each year, going by Visit Britain’s own statistics, or roughly equivalent to what APD brings in,” Mr O’Leary stated. Hoteliers have responded, saying VAT is already charged on rooms
Ryanair: “I understand that the Government needs to raise tax, and APD has nothing to do with emissions – it’s just a tax grab. A more sensible way of raising money would be a tax on hotel rooms. There are far more hotel beds than plane seats, and it would raise money from domestic and business travellers, too. No one will notice GBP1 on top of their hotel room, but GBP12 or more on top of a plane ticket is putting off travellers.” Michael O’Leary, CEO. Source: The Telegraph, 04-Jun-2011.