His call follows the unilateral taxes imposed by the United Kingdom, which could result in depreciated numbers of tourists to South Africa, owing to international global economic crisis.
According to Nzima, the South African Tourism supports the global call for a review of the exorbitant Air Passenger Duty (APD) taxes imposed on international tourist flows by the United Kingdom.
“Initially introduced as a ‘green’ tax by the United Kingdom, this tax is now
clearly aimed at revenue–generation. These taxes, when combined with the
European Union (EU) Emissions Trading System (ETS), are leading to double
taxation and are distorting markets,” he said.
“These taxes, which add hundreds of rands to the cost of tourists visiting destinations such as South Africa, is having a seriously adverse effect at a time when destinations are straining to defend and maintain tourist arrivals from traditional markets like Europe.”
The United Kingdom is South Africa’s top tourism source market, with 453 030 tourist arrivals recorded in 2010.
Given the price sensitivity of tourists under current economic conditions in Europe, this is bound to affect long haul destinations like South Africa.
Described as excessive, unilateral and discriminatory taxes, this could severely affect the tourism potential of developing country destinations and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of employees in the global tourism industry.
Reliable sources within the tourism sector, whom we spoke to, all agreed that the situation should be controlled, monitored and transparent before it boils out of control, particularly to the SA market.