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 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
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.
- Enjoy access to 11 Restaurants and 10 Bars catering to every taste and occasion & access to 5 glorious Swimming Pools including 1 at Royal Level, 1 salt water pool only for adults and 1 children's pool
- This resort is a fantastic choice for an exciting family holiday that you will never forget,why not make it extra special by upgrading to visit the amazing Xcaret Park
- Limitless all-inclusive fun and thrills for everyone in a beautiful eco-reserve facing a glorious beach
Ideal for trendy couples - stay at a chic and sleek hotel in the heart of vibrant Havana and then Stay next to Cuba's famous Varadero beach
- Exclusive Couples offer - Welcome Cocktail, 1 hour free Wifi Access in Havana plus a bottle of wine on arrival, 30-minute massage and a Romantic Dinner in Varadero
- Book now and get a free upgrade to the sea view at Blau Varadero - limited availability
- Be swept away by the amazing views of Havana from Capri's rooftop pool
- Blau Vardero offers something for everyone with as little or as much as you want to do on offer including a spa
A couples' special - enjoy the perfect mix of history, local culture and laidback beach retreat for the perfect romantic Cuban experience.
- Enjoy all kind of the Spa treatments, water and land sports at Blau Varadero
- Fantastic views to the ocean from the modern and elegant rooms with balcony or terrace
- The perfect location of Blau Varadero beside the pristine sandy beach
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
Combine exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Escape to the pristine beaches of the south coast of Barbados for a holiday you will never forget. This is the perfect...
St Lawrence Gap is famous for its many restaurants, great shopping and lively nightlife. This 1.3 km stretch of road,...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...