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Caribbean travel industry welcomes APD changes announced in budget

During his budget presentation this week, George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced that Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be changed next year. After years of campaigning, this is particularly good news for the Caribbean travel industry and all long haul flights departing from the UK will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate.

Caribbean travel industry welcomes APD changes announced in budget

After years of campaigning, travel organisations and airlines can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the British Chancellor of the Exchequer announced yesterday that Air Passenger Duty (APD) would be reformed from next year.

George Osborne confirmed during his budget presentation to Parliament that a new band B tax rate would be introduced next year for passengers on long haul flights. This is particularly good news for the Caribbean travel industry who has been calling for a return to the two band system and a reduction in APD since 2010.

With the existing APD rates, a family of four travelling to Florida in economy class will pay £240 in APD, but the same family taking Caribbean holidays will pay £300, even though Florida is further away from the UK than many countries in the Caribbean.

Mr Osborne explained:

"We will also reform Air Passenger Duty to end the crazy system where you pay less tax travelling to Hawaii than you do travelling to China or India. It hits exports, puts off tourists and creates a great sense of injustice among our Caribbean and South Asian communities here in Britain.

"From next year, all long haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States."

From 2015, there will be two Bands: Band A for short haul flights, which will remain unchanged and cover a destination 2,000 miles or less from London, and Band B for long haul flights that cover a destination more than 2,000 miles away from London.

This will mean that travellers booking flights to the Caribbean will no longer have to pay higher APD than many other countries which is also great news for hotels, resorts and travel companies in the tropical region who rely on tourism and UK visitors.

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