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Is It Fair That The "Green" Tax To Fly 8000 Miles From The UK To Hawaii Is Less Than That To Fly 4000 Miles To Jamaica?

A group of leading tourism ministers have stepped up pressure against the UK to reconsider the damaging Air Passenger Duty (APD) it has imposed on the Caribbean countries.

The APD which was increased from £50 (US$77) to £75 (US $115) for economy-class and from £100 (US$154) to £150 (US$291) for premium economy, business and first-class passengers travelling to the Caribbean became effective from first November. Twenty days into the rise and it has already resulted in a reduction of bookings from the UK to the region.

silver sands jamaica

With the High Season in Jamaica fast approaching, this could spell further trouble for the country’s tourism industry, which would have otherwise reaped rich dividends from the great interest it generated during the annual World Travel Market held at London between 7 to 10 November. In the World Travel Award ceremony Jamaica emerged as the leading destination in the Caribbean as also the best beach destination in the World.

It is little wonder then that the ministers have stepped up renegotiation activities with the UK. Commenting on their talks with the Scottish Parliament, Jamaica's Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that they went extremely well. Bartlett also informed that the group would be taking the campaign against the APD to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, a British organisation that works to support democracy, good governance and human rights.

He also expressed appreciation at the fact that the APD had caught the attention of the global tourism community during the World Travel Market and that the countries had shown solidarity to the cause.

As a solution, the Caribbean ministers were suggesting that there be two APD bands, instead of four, which would see one band for Europe and another for the rest of the world. Currently there are four bands which are resulting in a lot of discrimination. As a case in point, Hawaii in the United States, which is 8,000 miles from London, is in band B and pays less tax than Jamaica which is 4,000 miles away and is in band C.

While the issue is sorted out, visitors can re-plan their holiday budget by staying in affordable rentals in Jamaica such as Silver Sands Villas on the North Coast of the island. This could to a large extent help them balance out the additional expenses caused by the APD.

Jamaica Villas Happenings