Officials at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation have welcomed an announcement from UK chancellor George Osborne Air Passenger Duty will not rise this year.
The chancellor’s statement that the arbitrary nature of the bands “appeared to believe the Caribbean was further away than California,” is also a clear recognition of a crucial issue raised by the organisation during lobbying efforts to have the tax reformed.
“In our various meetings with the British government the Caribbean Tourism Organisation opposed the idea of a Per Plane Tax for economic reasons,” read a statement.
“We also asked that the existing banding system be reviewed; for no more increases in the APD; and for it to be revised downwards in a new, fairer system. The Chancellor’s speech gives us positive results on all three points.”
CTO went on to add it was pleased it has been officially invited to continue to participate in further APD consultation over the coming weeks.
“In so doing we will continue to argue that the current banding system places the Caribbean at a disadvantage and hurts our economies,” added the organisation.
“We will persist in our efforts to obtain a fairer system of aviation taxation that does not cripple travel to our heavily tourism-dependent region.”
“Therefore, in spite of today’s good news from the UK Chancellor, our advocacy on the APD is not over.
“All Caribbean tourism interests must continue to fight for APD reform in a manner that further removes any competitive disadvantage, and does not hamper our efforts to achieve sustainable growth in tourism, for the benefit of the people of the Caribbean,” concluded the CTO statement.