Barbados holidays Urge Gordon Brown to Scrap UK Air Passenger Duty Charges
Barbados has now officially enlisted as part of a group in the travel industry urging the UK government to put an end to the Air Passenger Duty Charges on flights that take potential UK travellers to Barbados holidays.
Barbados has been one of the latest Caribbean countries to join in on the travel industry support group who are demanding the UK government to scrap Air Passenger Duty and put an end to the costly charges that are causing a direct negative effect on the decrease in number of UK travellers taking Barbados holidays and other Caribbean holidays.
The island’s Prime Minister David Thompson came to the UK to lobby the government to rethink the tax, which could add as much as £400 to the cost of family Barbados holidays.
Barbados’ move follows that of a number of other Caribbean countries, which have also been affected by the Caribbean holidays slump with fewer people taking Caribbean holidays this year. The Caribbean countries all jointly wrote to Gordon Brown requesting he rethinks the tax.
APD is hiked on November 1 from £40 to £50 in economy cabins and from £80 to £100. And from November 2010 the figure will be going up again to £75 and £150.
The chargers are widely regarded as unfairly penalising visitors taking Caribbean holidays because it is based on the distance from London to the capital city of the destination, rather than the actual miles flown. So, for example, a passenger will pay less APD to fly to Hawaii than he would when flying to take Barbados holidays.
Barbados’ aim is to scrap the second hike and get the Caribbean reclassified in the same tax band as the US, which will mean a hike to £60 in economy and £120 in premium.
When speaking on the issue, Barbados’ Prime Minister Thompson declared “I am delighted so many influential travel and tourism organizations in the UK are supporting our APD campaign. There was complete agreement amongst all those attending our meeting that this is an issue the British Government need to take very seriously.
“It is unfair to discriminate against visitors to our region, who will pay far more in APD than those traveling to destinations that are many thousands of miles further away.”
Last week, the Marketing director at Monarch Airlines, Tim Jeans, also gave a stark view on how APD could further hit the industry and especially affect Caribbean holidays. Speaking at a Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Intelligence Group debate on air travel he said:
“Governments are beginning to turn towards air travel as a cash machine.
“From November 1 it will cost a family of four travelling to the Caribbean £400 in tax on Air Passenger Duty.
“We may yet have seen the peak of air travel.”
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