CHTA Supports St Lucia Prime Minister's Call to Reduce APD
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is supporting St Lucia's Prime Minister Kenny Anthony as he voices his concerns over the recent Air Passenger Duty in a letter to the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, saying that the increase in APD is going to deter people from booking Caribbean holidays.
The ongoing debate over the rising costs of Air Passenger Duty has motivated St Lucia’s Prime Minister to write a letter to George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The letter is being supported by the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association (CHTA) and expresses Prime Minister Kenny Anthony’s concerns about the rising APD, the effects it will have on the Caribbean, and how it will deter tourists from booking Caribbean holidays from the United Kingdom.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s President Richard Doumeng, says the APD is “a significant threat” to the sustainability and growth of the Caribbean tourism sector and he agrees with Mr Anthony’s concerns.
Earlier this year, the “A Fair Tax on Flying” campaign was launched by the Airports Operators Association and the industry coalition which includes more than 30 airlines, tour operators, airports and travel organisations.
Image by: worldtraveller5,on Flickr
The campaign has already received over 90,000 signatures from people urging the government to review the tax and either eliminate it or reduce it.
In March this year, George Osborne announced in his Budget speech that APD would be increasing by a further eight per cent from April, 2012. The rise affects the cost of holidays to the Caribbean and long haul flights to destination such as South America and South Africa and Australia.
Air Passenger Duty is calculated according to how far away the capital of a country is from the United Kingdom. Though Hawaii and Florida are located further away from the UK, the country’s capital New York is closer than many Caribbean capital cities, so passengers taking flights to the Caribbean are charged more APD.
Image by: worldtraveller5,on Flickr
A family of four going on holidays to the Caribbean or to South Africa will now have to pay £324 in air tax, compared to the previous £300.
Many businesses in the region such as Caribbean hotels and resorts and tour operators are struggling as travellers opt for cheaper destinations such as Florida and British Airways has reduced its Caribbean flights because of the rising costs.
The Caribbean region relies on travellers from the UK and the rest of the Europe to sustain its tourism-led economy.
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