Air Passenger Duty (APD) has reduced tourism arrivals into the Caribbean from the UK and has caused a negative impact on visitor expenditure and overall economic growth.
Caribbean Governments, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have made clear jointly and separately at every opportunity over the past two years their concern about the impact that the present four band Air Passenger Duty (APD) system is having on the Caribbean economy and on its Diaspora living in the United Kingdom.
At Prime Ministerial level concerns about APD have been raised with the former UK Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 and again in 2011 in a letter to Prime Minister Cameron from the Prime Minister of Grenada, in his capacity as Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
Representations have also been made to visiting British ministers and to the UK Parliament. Caribbean Tourism Ministers have raised their concerns directly with British Ministers at the UK Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Department for Transport.
The Caribbean’s case for change starts from the perspective that the UK Treasury’s present four band system is discriminatory against the Caribbean and its Diaspora in the UK.
The APD banding system favours the United States, a competitor destination; is intellectually incoherent as it divides Russia into two zones but sees all of the US as one entity; and takes no account of the economic impact that the tax has on Caribbean nations that are still in transition to services‐based economies that are largely tourism based.