ABTA has pleaded with the Chancellor not to hit the
trade with a tax double whammy.

Next week three senior Government
ministers – tourism minister Richard Caborn, transport minister Kim Howells and
Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell – will receive a letter urging them not to
raise Air Passenger Duty or put VAT on the package holiday flights.

In the same pre-Budget letter to the Treasury, ABTA
chief executive Ian Reynolds expressed fears further tax rises would
dramatically increase prices but cost the industry hundreds of jobs.

The pre-Budget report – where Chancellor Gordon Brown
sets out his tax plans for next year’s Budget – will take place on December 10.

Reynolds said the industry’s position “remains gloomy”
with year-on-year bookings for this summer down 5%.

“I urge the Government to resist taking steps that
will harm the UK travel industry’s competitive position,” he said.