The New Zealand tourism industry hopes the decision by the
British Government to cut air passenger duty on long-haul
flights will encourage more visitors from the United Kingdom.
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne,
announced tax on long-haul flights to New Zealand would be
cut from April 1 next year, resulting in a 26 ($NZ50) cut per
passenger, or for a family of four, 104 ($NZ201).
In a joint submission made to the British Treasury in 2011,
the Tourism Industry Association, the Tourism Export Council,
the New Zealand Airports Association and the Travel Agents
Association of New Zealand argued the duty, combined with
other air travel taxes, was a strong disincentive for UK
visitors to travel down under.
Passengers travelling to long-haul destinations such as New
Zealand and Australia have been paying nearly 10 times more
duty than short-haul European destinations, association chief
executive Martin Snedden said.
''The UK is currently New Zealand's fourth-largest visitor
market in terms of arrivals (191,632) and third-largest in
terms of spend ($608 million),'' Mr Snedden said.
''In 2008, just before the duty was increased significantly
and as the global financial crisis was beginning to impact,
the UK was our second-largest market by arrivals (285,094)
and spend ($1.32 billion).''