The increase in air passenger duty (APD) announced in last week's pre-Budget report will have a detrimental impact on inbound tourism, operators have warned.
The doubling of APD, which has been unchanged since April 2001, adds £5 to a short-haul economy fare, £10 to short-haul premium, £20 to a long-haul economy fare and £40 to premium long-haul.
A survey of 290 members of UKinbound, the trade body for inbound tourism in the UK, revealed that 92% felt the increase would affect tourist numbers. A quarter of respondents thought it would have a "severe or significant" impact, with 67% expecting a slight decline.
UKinbound said the chancellor's announcement reflects the fact that the tourism industry is "still failing to get its message across to Government".
"It is time we started working more closely together and became more united in our advocacy objectives," the group said.
"Otherwise, we face the deterioration of our industry, as tourists - both UK citizens and potential overseas visitors - vote with their wallets and choose to spend their holiday budgets in destinations that have a less oppressive tax regime and governments who understand and appreciate the value of our industry to their economy.
By Daniel Thomas