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Caribbean Tourism Damaged By British Air Passenger Duty

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has produced a detailed report on the damaging effect on tourism that the British government's controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) is having on the islands. However, more important is the fact that the report also suggests measures on restructuring the tax in a way that is beneficial to Britain and the Caribbean nations.

The report, The Impact of Air Passenger Duty and Possible Alternatives for the Caribbean, was compiled by the CTO at the behest of the United Kingdom Treasury. Caribbean tourism ministers met British ministers in London in September to express their concerns about the impact of a tax, which they have labelled as being "discriminatory against the Caribbean" and "intellectually incoherent".

The report reveals some interesting facts, one of which is that whereas visitors from other source markets are increasing, the arrivals to the Caribbean from the UK are declining. The report also rightly points out that, as bookings for the Caribbean decline, this will have a detrimental effect on the Caribbean community in the UK as well as on the airlines and tour and travel companies operating there.

The report also states that the increases introduced on November 1 this year have already started showing their negative impact which would further spiral as the year proceeds.

As a solution, the report suggests that the travel to what are largely European Union destinations and travel to the rest of the World should be divided as this would create a more equitable relationship between the number of passenger miles flown, the overall distance travelled, and the taxation of carbon emissions.

The report also makes it clear that the Caribbean would favour a two-band distance system that ensures that "the environmental costs of reaching all destinations are better reflected".

The Jamaican Government has stepped up its lobbying against the APD.


It is now up to Britain to study the recommendations of the report. In the meanwhile, tourists can take advantage of the affordable private rentals in Jamaica, which to some extent even out the increase in the airfares from the UK. Jamaican rentals such as villas in Silver Sands and self-catering apartments in Ocho Rios are ideal for all age groups, tastes, requirements and budgets.

Jamaica Villas Happenings