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APD reform ‘a victory’ for region

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

APD reform ‘a victory’ for region

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The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has expressed delight with today’s announcement by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, that the Air Passenger Duty (APD) will be reformed from next year.
The Chancellor has announced that from April of 2015, APD will be simplified into a two band system: Band A for short haul flights of less than 2000 miles from London and Band B for all long haul flights more than 2000 miles from London.
The new Band B will be charged at the planned rate in 2015-16 (£71 for reduced rate passengers and £142 for standard rate passengers).
CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said: “This is a complete victory for the Caribbean, which, led by the CTO, has been lobbying against the unfair system which charged a higher rate of APD on flights to Barbados than Hawaii and placed the United States at a competitive advantage. We are delighted that the Chancellor has finally accepted the Caribbean’s proposal made in November 2010 to return to the simpler and fairer two band system.”
“We want to thank everyone who has supported our lobby, including Caribbean Governments, our partners, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, British MPs and peers, the Caribbean High Commissioners in London, Caribbean Ambassadors in Brussels, the Diaspora, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Travel and Tourism Council and the airlines and travel companies,” she said.
Nicholson-Doty said the CTO, with support of its partners, would continue to advocate on behalf of the Caribbean tourism sector.
“We will now proceed to examine all the implications of this very positive development and advise our members accordingly,” she said. (PR)