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 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
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
Discover the relaxing Varadero and sink into sublim tranquillity
- Experience the beauty of Varadero Beach where you can relax and unwind on the tranquil white sandy beaches whilst enjoying the 24-hrs All-inclusive offered at the Luxurious Iberostar Varadero
- Stay in Havana's most highly rated hotel, with an iconic location facing Central Park
- Discover Cuba whilst staying at the 2 Top rated TripAdvisor hotels in Cuba
Fall in love with Havana and its captivating heritage before being dazzled by the pristine shores of Varadero
- This package offers little touches to make your holiday extra special including a Welcome cocktail and a bottle of cava on arrival in Havana and Varadero
- You will be staying in luxurious hotels in both Havana and Varadero that combine perfectly and offer the best of both worlds whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation
- Experience the best of the world famous Varadero Beach where white sand is lapped by the clear waters when staying at Melia Varadero
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 exploring the old dimes of Havana with a refreshing beach retreat in Vardero on an unforgettable twin centre...
Start your holiday at The Melia Habana Hotel, located in the heart of the elegant Miramar district, overlooking the sea....
Take a holiday to the Caribbean resort of Cancun in Mexico. In the magnificent Moon Palace Cancun you will be perfectly...
Create unforgettable memories at the heart of Barbados' western coast at a collection of one bedroom apartments. Halcyon...
St Lawrence Gap is famous for its many restaurants, great shopping and lively nightlife. This 1.3 km stretch of road,...
You can enjoy all the aspects of this charming island, as the elegant eco-friendly property is located near all the...