December 13, 2019

Former Caribbean Hotels association president not overjoyed at APD reform

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images-Caribbean-Berthia_Parle_258679670From Caribbean360

said the reduction should not satisfy regional lobbyists into attaining fairer taxes, contending that flights to the Caribbean should ultimately be the same cost as a flight from Britain to Europe.

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – The former president of the Caribbean Hotels Association (CHA), Berthia Parle, says while she welcomes the reduction in rates to the controversial Air Passenger Duty (), the United Kingdom government has not gone far enough.

She said the reduction should not satisfy regional lobbyists into attaining fairer taxes, contending that flights to the Caribbean should ultimately be the same cost as a flight from Britain to Europe.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Wednesday said it was “delighted” with the announcement by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, that the APD would be reformed from next year.

Osborne 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 and Band B for all long haul flights more than 2000 miles from .

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

“We are basically talking about a 14 pound reduction, if my information is correct. This takes it from 85 British pounds per person to 71 British pounds and if they structured it now that they have two bands, I still believe they have not gone far enough, but I guess we have to be thankful for small mercies,” she told reporters.

“Hopefully the discount on the increase is sufficient to encourage people to now come back to the region,” Parle said, adding that the Eastern Caribbean which has suffered financially as a result of the tax must not give up advocacy for fairer treatment.

She noted that while the regions’ finances have taken a major hit as a result of the tax, the diaspora has been most affected as people have not been unable to visit their families for a number of reasons.

“In terms of people returning home for funerals and family emergencies, where one family member has been able to travel as opposed to a husband and wife and family of three, as the cost has been astronomical.

“Eight five pounds is still US$114 per person, so you can well imagine the cost for a family of four, so well we are encouraged by the change, I hope there will be continuing lobbying, so that this could be reduced even further,” said Parle, a legislator, who also manages a hotel chain here.

Director of the St. Lucia Tourist Board, Louis Lewis, said he was encouraged at the decision of London in reforming the APD.

“The UK represents St. Lucia’s second largest source market and this reduction in the cost of travel from that key gateway will certainly serve as added impetus for growth in that market,” said Lewis, adding “this latest reduction speaks volumes as to what can be achieved as a grouping, when we champion external issues collectively”.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/index.php/travel/1107329.html?utm_source=Caribbean360+Newsletters&utm_campaign=22b20bae02-Vol_9_Issue_058_News3_21_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-22b20bae02-39393477#ixzz2wcl8RF7D

 

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