Travellers planning Caribbean holidays face yet another hike in UK APD tax
Travellers departing from the UK for their Caribbean holidays face yet another APD tax increase in April 2012. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) continues to oppose the tax which is said to have a crippling effect on the region's tourism industry.
Caribbean islands are bracing themselves for the fall out of yet another rise in the controversial air passenger duty tax (APD) with the latest increase set to hit travellers in April 2012.
The APD applies to passengers booking flights to the Caribbean departing from United Kingdom airports and will also impact on passengers who have booked their 2012 Caribbean holidays before the announcement of the new rates. The rise will mean increases of as much as eight per cent in ticket prices as the duty moves from £75 to £81 for economy class tickets and £150 to £162 for high classes. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) lobbied extensively in 2011, to no avail, for UK officials to remove the tax or at the very least undertake a revision of the current band structure.
The CTO has heavily criticised the APD’s complex four band system which it is has described as discriminatory and disadvantageous for Caribbean holidays. Under the current system there is arguably an inherent bias towards destinations located west of East coast US destinations over Caribbean islands. Despite the fact that these U.S. destinations are further away, travellers incur a higher APD tax for direct flights to the Caribbean.
Image by: *michael sweet*, on Flickr
The UK government’s announcement in late 2011 confirming that they would not only continue with the tax system but increase it in April 2012 was greeted with disbelief from Caribbean tourism officials, with the head of the CTO, Ricky Skerritt, describing the announcement as a “slap in the face” for the region. Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Minister of Tourism and Aviation in the Bahamas went on to state, “I think certainly everybody in the Caribbean is disappointed that some of the changes that were expected didn’t come into effect. I think at the very least the Caribbean region thought they should have been made equal, in terms of the cost of the tax, with the United States. At the very least the Caribbean was hoping that there would be some revision to the banding”.
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr
In February 2012 the Jamaican Tourism Board (JTB) reported an 8 per cent decline in the number of people who took Jamaica holidays between May and January 2012 compared to the same period in 2010/2011. Minister of tourism Dr. Wykeham McNeill attributed part of the decline to a weakening of Europe as a source market as a result of the APD. In order to counteract the negative effects of the duty, the JTB has stepped up its marketing in the UK with an announcement that it will begin advertising on UK television “for the first time in many years” stated Dr. McNeill. Additionally, many feel that the presence of well-known Jamaican athlete and sports personality, Usian Bolt at the London 2012 Olympic Games will serve boost the profile of Jamaica and raise interest in the Caribbean island a holiday destination.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 10:30 - 17:30 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
Discover Be Live Collection Punta Cana's pristine white beaches, swaying palms and pulsating Latin vibe
Enjoy a fabulous holiday by the sparkling turquoise beaches of Punta Cana where you'll find endless fun as well as plenty of relaxing options
- Enjoy 24-Hour All-Inclusive Service
- Enjoy unlimited access to a fantastic beach that's perfect for snorkelling
- Great facilities for all the family plus children stay for half the price
Stay close to all the action in a fabulous resort that's part of a beautiful ecological reserve and sits right next to Xcaret, Cancun's number one theme park.
- Exclusive discount to the eco-archaeological Xcaret Park
- Enjoy access to 11 Restaurants and 10 Bars & access to 5 Swimming Pools
- Limitless all-inclusive fun and thrills for everyone in a beautiful eco-reserve facing a glorious beach
Use up to $2000 resort credit to indulge in spa treatments, golf sessions or a selection of excursions that will make your Cancun holiday truly unforgettable.
- Duran Duran in concert at Moon Palace on 29th December (tickets additional cost)
- Winner of the Trip Advisor 2015 Travellers Choice Award
- Enjoy the impressive $2000 Resort Credit per booking that you can spend on golf, spa treatments, dolphin swims, visit to Chichen Itza, Express Tour of Tulum, Family fun days out at the Wet 'N' Wild Waterpark and much more
- Whether you are looking for an active holiday or a relaxing break, Moon Palace Resort is an ideal destination for travellers of all ages
Enjoy the exciting nightlife the Melia Marina Varadero Hotel has to offer, whilst relaxing during the day in the beautiful accommodation
- Melia Marina Varadero Hotel is ideally located 300m from the beach in an ecological reserve with a dolphinarium and caves to explore
- Incredible all-inclusive benefits with dining at 9 restaurants at Melia Marina Varadero Hotel
- Excellent watersports facilities including yachting, fishing and diving
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
If you're searching for the perfect combination of beach fun and natural discovery, look no further. Home to ancient...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Fancy a charming and adventurous holiday? Why not try our twin centre package that allows you to explore the contagious...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...