APD Ease For Travellers -Published on December 9, 2014 by Julie Carrington
Minister of Tourism and International Transport and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Richard Sealy. (FP)
The British Government has announced a further ease in the air passenger duty (APD) – a move that will ease some of the burden on families travelling to the Caribbean for a holiday.
The British Government recently announced that the APD will be scrapped for children under 12 from May next year, and will be extended to the under 16 age group from 2016.
The new tax break will save a family of four flying to the Caribbean £142 approximately (BDS $445). This measure comes in the wake of an announcement in March to cut the tax on long-haul flights – to take effect in April – after lobbying by the Caribbean and the industry as a whole.
The news of the impending change, which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, was welcomed by Barbados’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, who is also the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
He said: “This [announcement] reduces the burden on families travelling to the Caribbean as it will make flying a bit more affordable. These adjustments will come just before summer 2015 and, linked to the rebranding which takes effect from April, will impact positively on arrivals from the United Kingdom.”
Mr. Sealy continued: “The CTO would like to thank everyone, including our industry partners, who continue to advocate in favour of more affordable flights to the Caribbean by the lowering of the APD.”
The APD had risen by up to 160 per cent since it was introduced 20 years ago, and six times in the last six years. The Caribbean undertook a major lobby against the duty, which was seen to be putting travellers to this region at a disadvantage.