Caribbean holiday industry increases taxes on tourism sector as it struggles with rising APD tax
The Caribbean holiday industry in under pressure as a result of the UK's rising Air Passenger Duty (APD). Because of this ever-increasing tax two Caribbean islands, Jamaica and Antigua have introduced new taxes on their own tourism sectors to recoup some of the losses incurred. Following the recent Caribbean Tourism Summit the region's leaders have agreed to work towards a more aggressive co-ordinated lobby strategy in order to have the APD reversed.
While Caribbean holidays have long been favoured by British travellers, the rising Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax poses a very real threat to this standing with a family of four booking their holiday in the Caribbean from the UK standing to pay as much as a £324 in APD for an economy flight, a drastic increase from there mere £40 it cost 2007.
As a result the Caribbean region has been struggling to come to terms with the fallout of the rising APD tax, with government officials in two Caribbean islands- Jamaica and the twin island nation Antigua and Barbuda forced to introduce new taxes to their respective tourism sectors in order to counteract the losses incurred.
Officials in Jamaica recently announced that as of 1st August visitors arriving in Jamaica from outside of the region will be required to a $20 tax. Similarly, the Airport Administration Charge Act 2012 was recently passed in Antigua with an increase from $63.75 to $93.75 added to the flight cost for passengers heading to their Antigua holidays. Additionally, as of 1st September Jamaica hotels will be forced to charge an accommodation tax of $1 per night for hotels with fewer than 51 rooms, $2 per night for hotels with 51-100 rooms and guests staying at properties with more than 100 rooms will incur a $4 per night fee.
Image by: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE,on Flickr
A major source of contention for the Caribbean region remains that the current system, calculated according to the distance between the UK capital and the capital city of the destination, is inherently biased towards the United States. The end result is higher taxes for Caribbean holidays than for holidays to US destinations located west of the East Coast cities, despite the fact that they are further away. As a result travellers may be put off from booking their holidays in Jamaica in favour of destinations like Hawaii as a result of the higher APD for flights to Jamaica.
Image by: worldtraveller,on Flickr
Following the recent 2012 Caribbean Tourism Summit, officials across the region now appear to be in agreement that a more aggressive co-ordinated approach is necessary, with Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Tourism Dr Rupert Griffith expressing willingness to approach his Cabinet for the funds necessary to lobby in the UK to reverse the APD as he noted his own concerns over the impact the APD is having on the number of travellers booking Tobago holidays from the UK.
Dr Griffith’s statements will certainly come as good news to the president and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) David Scowsill who recently stated, “Now we will have to go to war…This APD is a disease that will spread to other countries unless we stop it now. We have to find a different way to persuade the UK government on its view on the APD and this is going to require money, funds for the lobby organisations and one voice rather than independent voices that are shouting about the issue around the world”.
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
Dive into the warm water of Varadero beach and relax under the caribbean sunshine
- Book now and benefit from huge savings with the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic to Varadero offer!
- Suites feature a separate living area and Tropical suites feature breathtaking views of the sea
- Golf lovers can play on the nearby Varadero 18 hole golf course
Stay at a Havana hotel brimming with history then head off to a brand-new beachfront resort in Varadero
Relish the timeless charms of Cuba from the comfort of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels
- Stay at two of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels, bursting with modern comforts
- Relish an all-inclusive beach retreat, boasting an overabundance of facilities
- Explore Havana’s charismatic, timeless and bustling streets
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
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...
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...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...
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,...