The industry has been urged to fight back against increases in Air Passenger Duty after a WTM poll showed it was one of the biggest concerns of travel executives for the next five years.

In a survey of 1,200 senior travel executives for WTM’s inaugural Industry Report 2010, more than 40% said they regarded increased taxation, in particular APD, as one of their biggest concerns.

One in 10 cited it as the single biggest issue to have a negative impact on business over the next five years.

WTM chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “The travel and tourism industry has to fight back against APD. It’s never been an environmental tax in truth.”

In a separate consumer poll of 1,000 UK holidaymakers, 45% said they planned to reduce the amount of overseas holidays they took in 2011 because of APD.

APD was increased in November 2009 and was hiked again a week ago. The tax has increased by 325% since 2005.

Caribbean Tourism Organization secretary-general Hugh Riley said some Caribbean islands had seen UK visitor arrivals fall by more than 25% in the last year and could be worst hit next year.

Riley also said the CTO had now presented its recommendations for a “design change” in APD to the UK government.

“We have been asked to present information on the affects of APD and our recommendations, and that has been delivered,” he said.

“We believe our message is being heard and have got a promise to be included in the consultation process.”

The Industry Report also showed only a third of UK holidaymakers used social media to help book a holiday in 2010 – but the majority who did were likely to change their holiday choices as a result.