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Barbados to give credit vouchers to tourists to offset APD

The Barbados government is looking to offer British tourists credit vouchers to offset the cost of APD (Air Passenger Duty) during their Barbados holidays. The tax has had a negative effect on the island's tourist industry and the tourism minister Richard Sealy is keen to encourage British holidaymakers to visit the Caribbean island.

Barbados to give credit vouchers to tourists to offset APD

British travellers planning to visit the Caribbean island of Barbados could receive tourist vouchers when they arrive on the island in an attempt to offset the cost of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

The rise cost of APD has had a negative effect on the number of British tourists taking Barbados holidays and the Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy, is keen to entice travellers back to the tropical island.

The credit vouchers will be up to a specific amount and will be given to tourists who stay at participating Barbados hotels for a minimum of two weeks and they are expected to draw immediate results. Mr Sealy said that the voucher scheme forms part of a 10-point plan in a bid to boost the island's tourism industry.

"We needed to do something special in our main market…The APD has had a devastating effect on the Caribbean region. We think this is a good way to counteract the impact of the APD, and allow us to have greater spending on the ground and more bed-nights."

Mr Sealy explained. The tourism minister said that APD is one of the main concerns for hoteliers on the island.

APD is calculated according to how far away the capital of a country is from the United Kingdom. Though Florida and Hawaii are located further from the UK, the country's capital Washington is closer than many Caribbean capital cities, so passengers taking flights to the Caribbean are charged more.

In April this year, APD rose to £83 per person on an economy-class flight to the Caribbean which is a significant amount during these turbulent economic times.

Caribbean high commissioners in the UK and campaigners from tour operators and airports are planning a renewed lobby against the tax, which is said to unfairly discriminate against the Caribbean islands.

The island of Barbados is located in the Caribbean and is home to an array of breathtaking landscapes. In Barbados, tourists can go scuba diving or snorkelling in crystal clear waters where they can explore the colourful coral reefs and hundreds of marine species.

There are many verdant nature reserves to hike through such as the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and visit the charming towns of Holetown, Speightstown, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bridgetown are great places to learn about the island's history.

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