Budget good for events industry, expert claims

Following the UK Budget announcements that favoured business and travel, one expert has high hopes for the event industry.

Speaking to Meetpie.com, The Events Partnership chairman, Michael Hurst says that overseas business travellers are now more likely to use UK corporate venues and event spaces.

The reduction in Air Passenger Duty (APD) and corporation tax in particular were welcomed by the travel industry.

Mr Hurst said: “Things are looking promising for businesses following the Budget. This is good – given the fact that we are still in an economic squeeze. And delaying APD is good for overseas business travellers.”

Chancellor, George Osbourne, pledged that there will be no increases in tax before April 2012. However, there is already skepticism about what happens after this time. Particularly because it is the year of the London Olympics.

The Board of Airline Representatives (BAR UK) represents 86 airlines. They said that the Chancellor’s plans to freeze APD was a “welcome development, but does not go far enough”.

Travel Weekly cites BAR UK’s chief executive, Mike Carrivick, who said: “The UK travel industry already pays the highest aviation taxes in Europe and the existing APD levels do not take into account the EU Emissions Trading Scheme which airlines will pay into from January 2012. Other EU countries have reduced or are removing existing taxes prior to the introduction of the EU ETS.”

Despite the freeze, the Government is continuing to discuss the future of APD. They could either use two bands to calculate it – one for flights to Europe and one for the rest of the world. Or another three-banded system based on distance factors from the UK, according to the Financial Times.

Currently APD is calculated through distance and the class of seat purchased only.