December 14, 2019

Cayman Islands welcomes long lobbied reduction in APD for UK travellers

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moses-kirkconnell-lrgGrand Cayman, Cayman Islands (19 March 2014) The Cayman Islands is pleased to welcome the long anticipated news of reduced Air Passenger Duty () for long haul visitors from the United Kingdom.  is an excise duty which is charged to passengers flying from a United Kingdom airport.  Announced by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, today during his annual budget speech to Parliament in , the will be reformed for implementation in April 2015.

In his announcement, the Chancellor explained that “the APD will be simplified into a two band system: Band A for short haul flights of less than 2,000 miles from London and Band B for all long haul flights more than 2,000 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).”

This reduction provides a significant break for those who have been considering a Cayman Islands or Caribbean vacation.  In the past, travellers from this market were charged a higher rate of APD to travel to destinations within the Caribbean than to the , which put Caribbean destinations including the Cayman Islands at a clear competitive disadvantage.

“As a country we have lobbied independently for this reduction and we are enormously pleased that our efforts have paid off.  We have also been supportive of the positioning taken by the Caribbean Tourism Organization who has been lobbying since 2010 for this reduction and other Caribbean nations who have been similarly affected by this restrictive fee,” commented Minister of Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell.  “By having all long haul flights charged the same APD as travel to the US, we anticipate a levelling of the playing field and that this new reduced fee structure in turn should open up travel opportunities from the for leisure travellers.  The Cayman Islands is looking forward to welcoming these long haul passengers in 2015 and beyond.”

Related stories

Jamaica, Caribbean welcome UK Air Passenger Duty reforms

jamaican TM McNeillFrom Jamaica Observer

PHOTO: Tourism Minister Wyckham McNeill

KINGSTON, Jamaica– An announcement made today, Wednesday, March 19 by British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, of changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) that will prove favourable to Jamaica and the Caribbean has been welcomed by Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.

The changes will come into effect in April 2015 and will see the axing of APD bands C and D for flights of more than 4,000 miles. All long-haul flights will now carry the same, lower, band B tax rate, meaning people travelling to the Caribbean will pay the same as those travelling to the United States.

“This is a major victory for the Caribbean community, which has been intensely lobbying for several years against the UK’s unfair APD band system which makes it costlier to fly to the Caribbean than to rival destinations like Hawaii in the United States, giving them a competitive advantage,” said Minister McNeill.

“The unrelenting efforts of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Ministers of Tourism across the region, the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and other tourism partners, have paid off,” the Tourism Minister added.

McNeill also joined the CTO in welcoming the acceptance of the recommendation made by the Caribbean.

“We welcome the announcement and are heartened at the fact that the Caribbean’s recommendation for the use of a two band system has now been accepted,” he said.

The CTO in welcoming the announcement added that “effective April 2015, the 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).”

Britain introduced the controversial travel tax in 1994. The APD was increased regularly, making billions in revenues for the UK government but increasing the price to travel from the UK to regions such as the Caribbean. In addition to adversely affecting tourism-dependent economies like the Caribbean, a 2012 study by the WTTC revealed that removing the APD would result in the creation of an additional 91,000 British jobs and £4.2 billion being added to that economy in 12 months.

For more on this story go to:

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica–Caribbean-welcome-UK-Air-Passenger-Duty-reforms

Caribbean Tourism Organization Hails Britain’s Flight-Tax Reform

George Osborne - 2From Latin American Herald Tribune

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization said Wednesday it was “delighted” with the announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne that Britain’s Air Passenger Duty is to be reformed.

Beginning in April 2015, the APD, also known as the flight tax, will use a simplified two-band system, Osborne said in his budget speech to Parliament.

The Band A rate will apply to all flights of less than 2000 miles from London, while longer flights will fall into Band B.

The previous system determined the rate based on the distance between London and the capital city of the destination country.

“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,” CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty said.

“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” she said.

“Rest assured that the CTO, with support of our partners, will continue to advocate on behalf of the Caribbean tourism sector,” she said.

International airlines also welcomed Osborne’s announcement, with a spokesman for Virgin Atlantic calling it “a very welcome simplification to remove some of the biggest distortions of the current system, which the chancellor himself admitted is crazy and unjust.”

“The government has rightly recognized the damage APD is having on exporters and the travelling public alike,” the spokesman said.

For more on this story go to:

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=1802731&CategoryId=14092

 

CARICOM expresses support for Britain’s airline passenger tax reform

images-Business-Lallrocque_200253522_711464501From Caribbean360

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque said that the tax had in the past negatively affected the region’s tourism sector and the realignment to a simpler and fairer two-band system is in keeping with the proposals advanced by the Community.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday March 20, 2014, CMC – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque Wednesday said he was pleased that the British government had decided to reform the Air Passenger Duty (APD) from next year.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivering his 2014 national budget to legislators, said that from April of 2015, the 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.

Under the new proposal, the new Band B will be charged at the planned rate in 2015-16 of £71 (One British Pound = US$1.66 cents) for reduced rate passengers and £142 for standard rate passengers.

La Rocque said that the tax had in the past negatively affected the region’s tourism sector and the realignment to a simpler and fairer two-band system is in keeping with the proposals advanced by the Community.

“The Community had from the outset expressed its concern that the manner in which the APD was applied, discriminated against Caribbean destinations given that it was calculated according to the distance between London and the destination country’s capital city.

“For example, the APD tax on a ticket to Hawaii was less that the APD tax on a ticket to the Caribbean,” La Rocque said, adding thatCARICOM through high level political and diplomatic representatives, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the diaspora, as well as affected airlines and friends of the Caribbean lobbied strongly and ultimately successfully for a fair application of this tax.

La Rocque said he was also praising the British government and “all who lobbied for the amendment of the discriminatory tax.

“Our Community and its supporters have been steadfast in their efforts to have this tax applied more fairly and these efforts have not been in vain,” La Rocque said, adding that the action taken by London “was a tangible demonstration of the value of dialogue in addressing issues of concern”.

Earlier, the Barbados-based CTO said it was “delighted” with the announcement.

“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,” said CTO Chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty.

“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” she said, thanking various stakeholders including the regional governments and diplomats based in London and Europe.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/business/1107318.html?utm_source=Caribbean360+Newsletters&utm_campaign=a6d4c7038a-Vol_7_Issue_011_Business3_20_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-a6d4c7038a-39393477#ixzz2wYiVUo7p

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