Caribbean Protests Unfair UK Flight Tax

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), has written to Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling urging them to rethink a tax that favours America over Caribbean destinations.

“The increased tax is inherently unfair and not the least bit ‘green’,” said Mr Bartlett (Jamaica tourism minister). “The structure this tax suggests that the impact of a flight to Jamaica is greater than one to Los Angeles or Honolulu. Why should Caribbean countries with relatively low emissions suffer the effects of an environmental tax in favour of the world’s biggest polluter.”

The number of travellers from the UK to the Caribbean totalled 1.24m last year, spending an estimated $2.4bn (£1.45bn) in the region, according to CTO statistics. The top four islands where most was spent by travellers from Britain were Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Antigua.

Such tourism, the Caribbean argues, has been put at risk by placing the region into Band C of the new APD regime – making air travel from the UK to the Caribbean countries much more expensive than flying to rival US destinations, such as Florida or Hawaii, which are in Band B.

The new duty is based on the distance between London and the capital cities of the destination country or territory, meaning tax on all flights to the US are calculated with reference to Washington.

Passengers flying to the Caribbean will pay £50 in economy class and £100 in other classes from November this year, respectively. Travellers to the US will pay £45 in economy and £90 in other classes from November this year.



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