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Passenger duty hurting local industry

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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Britain’s controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been a factor in Barbados’ falling tourist arrivals for the first six months of this year.
This is the conclusion of secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Hugh Riley.
Riley told reporters yesterday that while the global recession had been a cause for concern it was “reasonable” to conclude that the APD adversely impacted tourist arrivals in Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia.
Riley was commenting on last week’s visit to Britain by tourism ministers from the six countries, partly to lobby against the APD.
“When we looked at the tourism arrivals to the middle of the year, it was fairly clear that there were decreases in all of those countries in their business from the United Kingdom,” he said during the launch of a certification programme at CTO headquarters.
“What was also clear was that while some of those countries had had significant increases in business from other markets, their business was still down from the UK.”
Riley pointed out that the recession was clearly a factor that everyone had to deal with, but the recession was global.
Tourist arrivals in Barbados for the first half of this year rose 9.9 per cent higher than arrivals for the same period last year.
There was a 12.2 per cent decline in the number of tourists from the United Kingdom, with 88 443 arriving for the January-June period this year, compared to 100 704 in 2009.
Riley said the Caribbean delegation, which included Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, logged some success during the visit.” (TY)