IATA opposes proposed tax on air travelers

IATA is challenging a proposal by the Japanese government to impose a departure tax on air travellers.

The tax—which would be between JPY1000-2000 per passenger ($9-18)—would be used to fund tourism initiatives, the government says.

IATA, however, believes implementing the tax would negatively affect tourism growth.

The introduction a JPY2000 ($18) tax could lead a reduction in demand of up to seven million passengers

Japan is currently predicted to attract 40 million visitors to the country by 2020, and 60 million by 2030.

While there are a number of implementation scenarios, IATA estimates the introduction a JPY2000 ($18) tax could lead a reduction in demand of up to seven million passengers—lowering GDP by JPY34 billion ($300 million) and leading to 4,800 fewer aviation-related jobs being supported.

With passenger traffic growth in Asia-Pacific expected to outpace every other region up to 2034, IATA says Japanese aviation must remain competitive so it can benefit from this growth, and not jeopardize it with punitive taxes.

IATA has also made clear to the Japanese authorities that imposing the tax would directly contradict accepted International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, which do not support such taxes.

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