A study by the U.S. Travel Association has raised new concerns that high travel taxes are affecting travel habits.
Is it time to re-think your attitude on travel taxes?
In an era of declining tax revenues, travelers are considered an easy target by local, county and state governments.
But according to Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, public officials need to think of travelers as important contributors to local businesses and jobs.
According to Dow,”Few public officials understand how rising travel taxes influence consumer behavior and impact the economy.”
To help, the USTA announced a study of consumer attitudes by its Travel Tax Institute.
The research reveals that taxation has a clear impact on travel planning and spending decisions. Among the key findings:
- High Taxes Alter Travel Plans: 49% of travelers say that high travel taxes have caused them to stay at less expensive hotels, spend less on shopping and entertainment, and visit during the off-season.
- Taxes on Hotels, Airfare High: 68% of travelers rated hotel taxes as “very high” (35%) or “high” (33%); 66% rated taxes on airfare as “very high” (38%) or “high” (28%).
- Rental Car Taxes Much Too High: Nearly two out of three travelers surveyed (64%) say that the total tax rate on rental cars is “much more” than they expected to pay.
- Travelers See Taxes Rising: Nearly two-thirds (65%) say they expect to pay higher travel taxes in the year ahead; only two percent believe taxes will decrease.
- Travel Taxes Should Fund Travel Infrastructure: 60% of travelers said travel taxes should be reinvested in travel infrastructure, such as roads and airports.
Another 49% said “travel/tourism marketing and promotion” also would be an appropriate use of the revenues.
Only 14% cited “non-travel related expenditures” such as “contributions to government general funds” as an “appropriate” use of travel taxes
What do you think? Are high travel taxes affecting your guest’s decisions?