Caribbean leaders have come out fighting following the UK government’s decision to press ahead with a double-inflationary rise to Air Passenger Duty next spring.
The decision to go ahead with the increase, while at the same time maintaining the controversial banding system that places the Caribbean in a more expensive bracket than Hawaii, has provoked a storm of criticism from Caribbean leaders.
Caribbean Tourism Organisation chairman Ricky Skerritt described it as a “slap in the face for all Caribbean people”.
“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,” he stressed.
While Caribbean leaders have vowed to continue their opposition to the tax, there is a glimmer of hope for the Bahamas which hopes to be shielded from the worst effects of it as many of the country’s visitors arrive via the States, paying less APD as the US is in a lower banding.
However, for direct flights to the Caribbean, from April 2012 APD on economy fares will rise from £75 to £81.
For further information please see an update to this article on APD UK by Emily Ashwell.
Below is a video of the CHTA President, Josef Forstmayr, attacking APD.