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Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

CHTA celebrates UK Air Passenger Duty reform announcement

Under the new two-band system all long-haul flights (over 4,000 miles) will be moved into band B, which means UK customers traveling to the Caribbean will pay the same tax as if they were traveling to the United States. The change is expected to take place April 1, 2015.

THE CARIBBEAN – The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) is celebrating the announcement by British Chancellor George Osborne which reforms the United Kingdom’s current four-band system for the Air Passenger Duty (APD) to a two-band system. Under the new two-band system all long-haul flights (over 4,000 miles) will be moved into band B, which means UK customers traveling to the Caribbean will pay the same tax as if they were traveling to the United States. The change is expected to take place April 1, 2015

The Budget document stated: “To help British businesses strengthen links with high growth markets, and to go further to make the UK an attractive option for business visitors and tourists, Budget 2014 announces that the Government will reform Air Passenger Duty (APD) by abolishing bands C and D from April 1, 2015.”

“The Caribbean region has finally achieved one of its goals and will be fairly taxed in comparison to a flight to the United States,” said Richard J. Doumeng, president of CHTA. “CHTA acknowledges the individuals and organizations in the Caribbean and throughout our industry whose efforts and lobbying for tax reform for years contributed towards this triumph. Today we achieved a major victory as the playing field has been leveled,” Doumeng added.

“The disparity in the Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been a critical factor leading to the decline in arrivals from the United Kingdom to the Caribbean. With today’s announcement to a two-band system the Caribbean region will no longer be penalized,” said Jeffrey S. Vasser, CHA, director general and CEO of CHTA.

The Chancellor’s rationale behind the reform is that a lower cost of flying makes it more affordable for UK families to travel overseas.

According to the Budget: From April 1, 2015, the tax on long-haul flights between 4,001 and 6,000 miles will be reduced by £14 per person, while those over 6,000 miles will be cut by £26. The move will save a family of four £56 when visiting the Caribbean. Those flying in premium economy, business class or first class will save twice as much.

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