Leading organisations unite to highlight the importance of UK’s aviation and tourism industries

Today, the Airport Operators Association, in partnership with ABTA, the Tourism Alliance and UKinbound will launch a report examining the value of tourism and aviation in the UK at their annual Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons, London.

Combining data and case studies from each organisation, the report offers an analysis of how flights to, from, and within the UK underpin the success of the nation’s growing tourism industry.

Reinforcing the importance of aviation and tourism as an employment generator, the report calls upon the Government to recognise its vital role within the economy and to invest in policies that will help both sectors develop further. A commitment to sustaining world-class air connectivity, reviewing and cutting Air Passenger Duty and improving the competitiveness of the UK’s visa system to make the UK more accessible are just some of the policies that will help to boost tourism and contribute to a growing economy in the years to come.

Commenting on the report, Mark Pritchard MP said: “There is a powerful case to be made as to the importance of aviation tourism as a wealth and job creator. I believe that this report is essential reading for my Westminster colleagues, and I am certain that it will help to shape their views on the policy challenges and opportunities facing the UK’s tourism industry – and hopefully, the Government’s future policy making process.”

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive at ABTA, comments, “The UK’s aviation and tourism industries are deeply interconnected; a healthy tourism industry relies on a healthy aviation industry and vice versa. In this report, we have identified key policies and strategies that will allow both industries to maximise their full and ever-growing potential, increasing visitor capacity and tourism’s GDP contribution, as well as generating more jobs.”

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: In order to prosper in today’s increasingly globalised economy, the UK requires excellent aviation connectivity right across the country. Passenger numbers at most UK airports are heading in the right direction, however, with the right kind of Government support we could be performing even better. The overall rate of APD must be reduced so that we are competing with our European rivals and a quick decision must be made on the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission Final Report in the coming weeks.”

Chariman of the Tourism Alliance, Ufi Ibrahim stated: “Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the Tourism Industry has generated almost a third of all additional jobs created in the UK since 2010. Importantly, these jobs have been created throughout the UK, supporting the recovery of regional economies. A strong aviation sector is therefore vital to maintaining and enhancing the key role that tourism plays in regional development.”

UKinbound’s Chief Executive Officer, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: “Tourism has been at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery with inbound tourism related export earnings increasing by 26.5% to £24 billion between 2009 and 2014. To further increase the benefits generated by tourism, the Government must continue to invest in tourism promotion and work with the tourism and aviation industries to remove barriers to its competitiveness.”

The report can be viewed here.