Tag Archives | departure tax

More on Ireland’s Departure Tax

I wrote earlier this week about how, while I’m no fan of the governments departure tax, I don’t believe it can be blamed as much as it currently is for the woes in our tourism industry.

I questioned whether anyone actually knew which other countries charge a tourism tax as a way to illustrate how insignificant such a tax is when it comes to tourists deciding on where to visit.

I did some amount of web research trying to find a definitive listing of which countries charge a departure tax, but without much success. The waters are further muddied by the vast array of charges levied on air passengers (and again, probably unknowingly to most air passengers – just think DAA charges levied in Dublin as an example).

As an example, however, take the United Kingdom charges for example.

• For short-haul flights of less than 2,000 miles in economy-class – £11
• For journeys of between 2,001 miles and 4,000 miles – £45 for economy, £90 for business class and first class
• For journeys of 4,001 miles to 6,000 miles – £50 for economy and £100 for business and first class.
• For flights of more than 6,000 miles – £55 for economy and £110 for business and first class.

How do you feel now about our flat €10 tax?

If anyone can point me towards a listing of countries that charges an airport departure tax, drop me an e-mail via the Contact Page and I’ll publish the information here.

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Ireland’s Departure Tax – which came first, the tax or the drop in passengers

The topic of this blog post has been going around in my head for some time now, never quite making the light of day until now – so here goes. Actually, this will be the start of a bit of a tourism theme for the week.

It’s said that the €10 departure tax brought in by the government in one of their many recent budgetary attempts brings in something between €10m and €15m per month. It was expected to net €9m in 2009 and €150m in a full year.

While this tax is undoubtedly a regressive measure, we’re being told that it is because of this tax that airlines are flying less passengers to Ireland – Aer Lingus and Ryanair shouting the loudest on this one.

Yet, back in 2008, Tourism Ireland revealed that the number of tourists visiting Ireland in that year had fallen 3.3%.

Had the rot already set in even before this departure tax was decided upon?

The number of tourists visiting Ireland for a holiday dropped 20% in 2009, but given the turmoil experienced around the world because of a world wide recession, is that not the primary reason for the fall rather than this new departure tax?

Look at this another way.

Let’s assume you’re planning a holiday later this year, 2010. You’re going to fly somewhere. What dictates where you go? When you search the internet researching destinations for your holiday, do you check out hotels, attractions, sights, entertainment and places to eat, or do you first check how much is the departure tax that you’re going to have to pay when you leave?

Do you even know which countries you might visit charge a departure tax? When the tax is included in your air fare (as it is here in Ireland) you’re most likely never even going to know you’re paying such a tax.

The overall price of your vacation will determine when and where you travel – and if you’re flying somewhere, staying in a hotel and eating out for a couple of nights over a weekend, then the €10 cost of the departure tax isn’t going to be the deciding factor.

Ireland was, and still is, a very expensive destination for tourists to visit – it was in the good times, and in general (despite the fall in hotel costs in many locations), it still is now.

When potential tourists are experiencing recession in their own country and counting the pennies, we can hardly expect that they’ll be arriving here by the plane load if they’re going to have to pay through the nose for the privilege of spending a few days in Ireland.

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