Airone Airone Ventures Promising 10-dollar Regional Fares

Low-cost carrier Airone is promising it will soon provide cheap intra-regional travel – with fares as low as US$9.99. Read more of this post

UK Airline Passenger Tax Remains For Now

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is now looking at how else the UK’s Airline Passenger Duty (APD) can be fought, now that the new government in Britain has put off a decision on changing it. Read more of this post

UK Passenger (Flight) Tax Being Scrapped

Britain’s new coalition government has announced it’s getting rid of the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD). And Caribbean tourism officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the change will be for the better. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

Caribbean Tourism Organisation Expects Big Fat Cheque From Barbados

According to CTO statistics, Barbados ranked ninth among the 33 CTOmember countries with 574 533 long-stay arrivals last year, and tenth with 616 354 cruise arrivals from January to December.

     Early July saw Caricom leaders met at their annual Caricom Heads Of Government meeting [held in Antigua], formulating a “One Caribbean” marketing plan. A case of a little  too late we said but better late than ever. Now that talks are over, attention is now place on what percentage of funding each CTO member country can allocate. Out of the $60m fund, Caricom is expecting to contribute $21m. The rest coming from private sources. But guess who is expected to make a hefty payment to the fund. Yep Barbados. Even though Barbados is listed 9th for stop over visitors and 10th for cruise ship visitors. And why is Barbados being single out?

Barbados should be prepared to make a hefty contribution to the US$60 million fund that would most likely be capitalised with each country’s input according to their level of tourist arrivals.

“How much each country would be required to put up [would be determined by] the ratio of visitor arrivals as a percentage of the total arrivals for the region, so that the countries with the greatest tourist arrivals would make the greater contribution to the fund.

That still does not explain why Barbados was the only Caricom state mention which has a ninth and tenth ranking respectively. For stop over visitors in 2007onecaribbean.org lists includes the top 9 destinations.

The Top Nine are:

  1. Dominican Republic     3,979,582
  2. Cuba                                    2,152,221
  3. Cancun[Mexico]            2,022,302
  4. Jamaica                              1,700,785
  5. Bahamas                            1,527,588
  6. Puerto Rico                      1,359,561
  7. Aruba                                     696,697
  8. US Virgin Islands             693,372
  9. Barbados                               574,533

Jamaica, Bahamas and Barbados are the only Caricom member states on the above list. The others are non Caricom Spanish-speaking countries. Aruba is Dutch. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Aruba are Caricom observers. Bahamas is not part of the Common Market. I take that to mean CSME [ Caricom Single Market Economy]. That’s leaves Jamaica and Barbados. Which are designated as MDC [More Developed Countries] including Bahamas. Yet Jamaica’s name was not mention. If memory serves me correctly the “One Caribbean” marketing plan not only includes English-speaking countries but non English-speaking countries as well. Was Barbados called based on its currency strenght?  Aren’t the other eight CTO member countries expected to contribute hefty monies as well?

$60m by 33 CTO countries = $1,818,181each.  $21m by 33 CTO countries= $636,363 each. If Caricom  takes on the $60m figure is Barbados contribution going to be $5 MILLION DOLLARS?.

From Positivetourism.com

BARBADOS MAY BE EXPECTED to contribute a significant share to the Caribbean Tourism Marketing Fund proposed by CARICOM Heads of Government for selling the region as a single tourist destination.

This is the indication from Luther Miller, director of finance at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), who confirmed that Caribbean countries were better off marketing themselves in a cluster.

“It has been demonstrated over the years by going to major international travel trade shows, be it in London, Berlin, France or Milan, that given all the clutter in the world today in tourism marketing, the market responds better to the collective image of the Caribbean. . . .”

Two weeks ago, whilst introducing tourism in the 2008 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Prime Minister David Thompson noted that some major decisions were taken for the industry in the Caribbean at the recent Heads of Government meeting held in Antigua, “including the commitment to a regional brand”.

And, according to Miller, Barbados should be prepared to make a hefty contribution to the US$60 million fund that would most likely be capitalised with each country’s input according to their level of tourist arrivals.

“How much each country would be required to put up [would be determined by] the ratio of visitor arrivals as a percentage of the total arrivals for the region, so that the countries with the greatest tourist arrivals would make the greater contribution to the fund.

According to CTOstatistics, Barbados ranked ninth among the 33 CTOmember countries with 574 533 long-stay arrivals last year, and tenth with 616 354 cruise arrivals from January to December.

Miller said the fund’s yearly financing was to come from the 33 CTO members.

One Caribbean Tourism Plan

    Like a drowning man reaching for a piece of rope to save his self before his final demise, tourism planners in the Caribbean have finally [hopefully] placed self interest, jealousy and other insularity issues on the back burner in an effort to rescue the regional tourism market by agreeing to market the region under a ‘One Caribbean’ campaign.

With the ever raising price of oil, increase costs to airlines tickets, seats capacity reduced by international airlines, air flights no longer available and drop in tourists arrivals, Caribbean tourism and government officials have decided to probably lactch on on the last surviving means of rescue to avoid them from going under. As always a classic case of a little too late. Nevertheless a somewhat case can probably be made out for better late than never. But this knee jerk reaction only transpire out of a global crisis. Without such tourism planners would  continue to market the region as separate entities as planets in different solar systems! Desperate times called for desperate action. As Mr Gonsalves PM of St.Vincent and the Grenadines rightly said,

“We don’t have the resources to be aggressive individually,”

And to show their sense of unity the plan would not only include English speaking countries in the region but French and Dutch speaking countries as well. Unheeded calls in the past for such an approach seems ready now to become a reality and not just a blast of hot air.

Barbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy Summoned To Emergency Meeting

http://www.caribbeanedu.com/elections/bb05a.asp?CandidateID=35

Tourism is the life blood of the Barbados economy. Any decisions made outside Barbados that would have a negative impact on our survival is cause for concern. Like the recent decision by American air carriers to cut their carrying capacity by as much as 20% because as you guess it, rising fuel costs which would mean less travellers coming to these shores.

Let’s face it. If plane A, used to carrying say 780 passengers to region A decided to slash their passenger load by 20%, that’s 156 less travellers coming to region A. If plane B, used to carrying say 830 passengers to region B decided to slash their passenger load by 20%, that’s 166 less travellers coming to region A.

So plane A brings 624 passengers and plane B brings 664 passengers. Now it may not be the case of each carrier slashing their capacity by 20% more likely a combination of the air carriers percentage. The point is that is already 322 travellers less coming to the Caribbean and a lesser extent Barbados.

We have not even touch on the thousands much more the millions of travellers that the region would be losing in subsequent years. Imagine the dollar figures people!!!.

So dire is the situation that Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy would be just one of the tourism ministers receiving correspondence inviting them to a 29th May meeting [next Thursday] in Antigua to come up with a comprehensive plan to deal with the gravity of the situation.

According to the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation [CTO] and St Lucia’s Minister Of Tourism Senator Allen Chastanet said that the decision by the air carriers,

would have a serious impact on visitor arrivals to this tourism dependent region. He warned that this would be made worse over the next six to nine months as the ongoing economic downturn, plus the traditional low spending in an election year, would equal a fall-off in holiday bookings to the Caribbean by visitors from the United States.

And he does not stop there. Mr Chastanet went on to say that if a US$30m marketing plan by the CTO did not get the support from the ministers needed to propel it into action, then that May 29th meeting would be the last regional meeting that he would attend!!!.

All because the Caribbean is still relying on sun, sea and sand!

Further readingTourism Ministers Summoned To Emergency Meeting

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