Pancy Cross, Executive Director of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association said that her membership is delighting that the British Government has decided to review the Air Passenger Duty as it will not only affect visitors from but nationals who are returning to the island.
“We are definitely happy to see this happen; it was not easy as it involved lobbying by countries and regional institutions especially the Caribbean Hotel Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. We know that this move will definitely have positive impact on the tourism sector,” she said.
In presenting his budget on Wednesday, British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, that the Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be reformed from next year. In a statement issued immediately after the announcement the Caribbean Tourism Organization said that is delighted with the announcement that from April of 2015, the APD will be simplified into a two band system.
Osborne said that there will be Band A for short haul flights of less than 2,000 miles from London; and Band B for all long haul flights more than 2,000 miles from London. The new Band B will be charged at the planned rate in 2015–16 (£71 for reduced rate passengers and £142 for standard rate passengers).
The CTO Chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty said: “This is a complete victory for the Caribbean, which, led by the CTO, has been lobbying against the unfair system which charged a higher rate of APD on flights to Barbados than Hawaii and placed the United States at a competitive advantage. “We are delighted that the Chancellor has finally accepted the Caribbean’s proposal made in November 2010 to return to the simpler and fairer two band system.
“We want to thank everyone who has supported our lobby, including Caribbean Governments, our partners, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, British MPs and peers, the Caribbean High Commissioners in London, Caribbean Ambassadors in Brussels, the Diaspora and the airlines and travel companies.
“Rest assured that the CTO, with support of our partners, will continue to advocate on behalf of the Caribbean tourism sector. We will now proceed to examine all the implications of this very positive development and advise our members accordingly,” she said.