Statement by Caribbean Tourism Organization on reform of the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD)

CTO Chair Senator Richard Skerritt

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 6 December, 2011 – The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is deeply disappointed and surprised by the UK Government’s announcement on 6 December that it will continue to discriminate against the Caribbean in relation to the banding aspect of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) system.

In a 26-page document published today, the British government said that APD rates to Caribbean destinations will continue to be considerably higher than those to some competitor destinations.

Furthermore, the fact that Premium Economy passengers will continue to be charged the same APD as First Class passengers is a blow for those customers wanting to upgrade.

Over a period of three years, the Caribbean and its community in the UK have consistently sought to raise the issue of APD at all levels of the British government and with the UK parliament.

Minister Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of the CTO said: “Today’s announcement on the APD is a slap in the face for all Caribbean people. It dismisses all of the research and information CTO has provided to the British Government over the past three years, and it contradicts the message sent by the UK Chancellor, George Osborne MP, in March 2011 when he cited the discrepancy between the USA and Caribbean APD rates as one of the reasons for holding a consultation on reform of UK APD.

The Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region of the world and the British Government’s decision totally ignores the negative effect that APD is having on our economies and the Caribbean’s business partners in the UK travel industry.”

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