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DÉCLARATION DE CTO RELATIVE AUX NOUVEAUX CHANGEMENTS DE LA APD

BRIDGETOWN, Barbade (3 décembre 2014) – L’Organisation du tourisme de la Caraïbe (OTC) accueille favorablement l’annonce d’aujourd’hui du chancelier de l’Échiquier britannique, M. George Osborne, concernant les nouvelles modifications à la taxe britannique sur le transport de passagers aériens  (APD), en mai prochain.

Dans sa déclaration du 3 décembre dernier, le chancelier a annoncé la suppression de l’APD en mai prochain pour les enfants de moins de douze ans, soit un mois après le passage d’un système de taxation à quatre niveaux à une version simplifiée comportant deux zones, réduisant l’APD sur les tarifs à destination de la Caraïbe et des autres destinations éloignées au même niveau que vers les États-Unis. La taxe sera supprimée en 2016 pour tous les enfants de moins de seize ans.

Cette réduction de la taxe représente une économie de 142£ pour une famille de quatre voyageant à destination de la Caraïbe.

Le président de l’OTC, l’honorable Richard Sealy, ministre du Tourisme et du Transport international de la Barbade déclare:

«L’OTC accueille favorablement l’annonce d’aujourd’hui du chancelier de l’Échiquier britannique. Cette réduction rendra le voyage aérien un peu plus abordable puisqu’il allège le fardeau des familles voyageant à destination de la Caraïbe. Ces ajustements qui arrivent juste avant l’été 2015 et qui sont liés au remaniement des zones entreront en vigueur en avril et auront des conséquences positives sur les arrivées en provenance du Royaume-Uni. L’OTC aimerait remercier tout le monde, notamment nos partenaires de l’industrie qui continuent de plaider en faveur d’un transport aérien plus abordable vers la Caraïbe par la réduction de l’APD».

Depuis son introduction il y a vingt ans, l’APD a connu une augmentation de 160%, dont six fois au cours des six dernières années.

Posted in: 2014 News, APD, Blog, French Releases

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VERKLARING VAN DE CTO OVER NIEUWE WIJZIGINGEN IN DE APD

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 december 2014) – De Caribische Toeristen Organisatie (Caribbean Tourism Organization – CTO) juicht de aankondiging die de Britse minister van Financien, George Osborne, vandaag maakte over de toekomstige wijzigingen in de  Air Passenger Duty (APD) ingaande mei volgend jaar.

De minister kondigde in zijn Herfstverklaring van 3 december aan dat de APD per volgend jaar mei wordt afgeschaft voor kinderen van onder de 12 jaar, één maand nadat de huidige vierbands APD systeem werd gesimplificeerd tot tweebands. Deze beslissing brengt de APD op de tickets naar het Caribisch gebied en andere lange afstand bestemmingen terug tot dezelfde bedragen als die voor reizen naar  de Verenigde Staten. In 2016 wordt de belasting afgeschaft voor alle kinderen onder de 16.

Dit belastingvoordeel bespaart een familie van vier die naar het Caribisch gebied reist 142 pond.

De heer Richard Sealy, CTO voorzitter en minister van Toerisme en Internationaal Transport voor Barbados, zei:

“De CTO juicht de aankondiging die de minister van Financiën vandaag maakte, van harte toe. Dit verlaagt de lasten voor gezinnen die naar het Caribisch gebied reizen, aangezien dit het vliegen een beetje betaalbaarder maakt. Deze aanpassingen komen net voor de zomer 2015, en ze zijn gekoppeld aan de re-banding oefening die vanaf april in werking treedt. Dit zal een positieve invloed hebben op de aankomsten uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk. De CTO bedankt allen, met inbegrip van onze partners uit de industrie, die blijven pleiten voor meer betaalbare vluchten naar het Caribisch gebied door middel met een verlaging van de APD.”

De APD is met maar liefst 160 procent gestegen, sinds het twintig jaar geleden werd geïntroduceerd, en sindsdien tot zes keer toe is gestegen in de afgelopen zes jaar.

 

Posted in: 2014 News, APD, Blog, Dutch Releases

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CTO Statement on New Changes in the British APD

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 Dec 2014) -The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) welcomes today’s announcement by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, of further changes to the Air Passenger Duty (APD) from next May.

The Chancellor has announced in his December 3rd Autumn Statement the abolition of APD for children under the age of 12 from next May, one month after the current four-tier APD system is simplified into two bands, reducing APD on fares to the Caribbean and other long-haul destinations to the same rate as to the US. The tax will be abolished for all children under 16 in 2016. This tax break saves a family of four flying to the Caribbean £142.

CTO Chairman, Hon. Richard Sealy, the Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados, said:  “The CTO welcomes today’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This reduces the burden on families travelling to the Caribbean, as it will make flying a bit more affordable. These adjustments will come just before summer 2015 and linked to the re-banding exercise which takes effect from April will impact positively on arrivals from the United Kingdom. The CTO would like to thank everyone including our industry partners who continue to advocate in favour of more affordable flights to the Caribbean by the lowering of the APD.”

The APD has risen by up to 160 per cent since it was introduced twenty years ago and six times in the last six years.

Posted in: 2014 News, APD, Blog, Corporate News

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CTO Statement on Reform of British Air Passenger Duty

19 March 2014 – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is delighted 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).

The 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.”

“Rest assured that the CTO, with support of our partners, will 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.”

Posted in: 2014 News, APD, Blog

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Caribbean Tourism Organization Statement on Air Passenger Duty Ahead of UK Budget

The British Chancellor George Osborne will present his budget on 19 March in a speech to the British Parliament. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) will be listening carefully to see if the Chancellor is yet prepared to recognise  the widespread concern that exists in the Caribbean and among the Caribbean community living in the UK about the damage being done and the lack of fairness in the way in which the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) is applied.

The duty on flights from London to the Caribbean will increase to £85 (US$140) per person in economy from 1 April 2014 unless Mr. Osborne announces a change.  By this point, APD on flights to the Caribbean will have increased by £35 (US$58) or 70% since 2009. This compares to an increase of just £2(US$3) or 18% from London to Europe and £24(US$40) or 53% to the USA.

As CTO has pointed out over a number of years, the current structure sees duty on flights from the UK to Miami, Florida charged at lower rates than that on flights to Bridgetown, Barbados even though they are the same distance from London. Moreover, even though Hawaii is 3,000 miles further away from London, the duty on flights there is also lower than on those to the Caribbean.

Mr Osborne, who leads the British Treasury, noted the anomaly in the four band structure of APD in his 2011 budget speech, when he said: “…we are consulting today on how to improve the existing and rather arbitrary bands that appear to believe that the Caribbean is further away than California.”

Despite this, and a lengthy consultation in which the Caribbean participated, no change has been made to the discriminatory aspect of the duty.

The CTO recognises that all Governments are required to raise revenue but believes that this should not be at the expense of the economies of regions like the Caribbean which are tourism dependent. Nor should it be the case that the Caribbean’s Diaspora in Britain should be penalised when for cultural reasons they return for funerals, weddings and other important family events.

The British Government’s own statistics suggest that Caribbean destinations are seeing below average arrivals from the UK.  This is reflected in the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s figures, which demonstrate that Eastern Caribbean nations continue to suffer reduced arrivals from the UK compared to other feeder markets such as the USA and Canada.  In some Caribbean countries up to 40% of total arrivals by air are from the UK, making any reduction in visitors economically challenging. It is not surprising therefore, that many Caribbean countries are currently suffering extreme economic challenges. Many of those are countries are highly dependent on the UK market.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization, along with Caribbean Governments, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Diaspora groups in the UK, the World Travel & Tourism Council and partners from the British travel industry such as airlines and tour operators have since 2009 been campaigning against the steep increases in APD.

The Caribbean therefore hopes to see on 19 March  the Chancellor introduce measures that address its concerns.

Posted in: 2014 News, APD, Blog

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CTO Statement on Reform of the UK Air Passenger Duty

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 6 December, 2011 – The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is deeply disappointed and surprised by the UK Government’s announcement on 6 December that it will continue to discriminate against the Caribbean in relation to the banding aspect of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) system.

In a 26-page document published today, the British government said that APD rates to Caribbean destinations will continue to be considerably higher than those to some competitor destinations. Furthermore, the fact that Premium Economy passengers will continue to be charged the same APD as First Class passengers is a blow for those customers wanting to upgrade

Over a period of three years, the Caribbean and its community in the UK have consistently sought to raise the issue of APD at all levels of the British government and with the UK parliament.

Minister Ricky Skerritt, Chairman of the CTO said: “Today’s announcement on the APD is a slap in the face for all Caribbean people. It dismisses all of the research and information CTO has provided to the British Government over the past three years, and it contradicts the message sent by the UK Chancellor, George Osborne MP, in March 2011 when he cited the discrepancy between the USA and Caribbean APD rates as one of the reasons for holding a consultation on reform of UK APD. The Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region of the world and the British Government’s decision totally ignores the negative effect that APD is having on our economies and the Caribbean’s business partners in the UK travel industry.”

NOTES
Caribbean Prime Ministers, Ministers of Tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK, including the High Commissioners, have consistently raised the issue of Air Passenger Duty with the UK Government and UK Parliament our concern about the negative effect that APD is having on the tourism dependent economies of the Caribbean and on the Caribbean community living in the United Kingdom.

The Caribbean understands the challenge faced by the UK in respect of revenue raising,
and has put forward constructive suggestions on how the UK can benefit from an Air Passenger Duty tax in a non discriminatory way. The Caribbean does not believe that APD should be imposed at the expense of the Caribbean economy or its community in the UK.

The Caribbean made a formal response to the Air Passenger Duty consultation in June. In summary this made clear that:

• We require parity in banding with the US.

• A move to a two band system would address the Caribbean’s requirement if this resulted in equal treatment of all long haul destinations.

• No other option set out in the consultation addresses the concerns of the Caribbean.

• APD has become a political issue with the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK.

Posted in: 2011 News, APD, Blog

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CTO Chairman on The UK Government’s Announcement that the APD Will Not Be Increased in 2011

March 23, 2011 – The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Chairman, Ricky Skerrit, has said the organization is pleased with today’s announcement by the British Chancellor that the Air Passenger Duty (APD) will not rise this year as previously projected, thus not increasing the current tax burden on British travellers to the Caribbean. The Chancellor’s statement to his parliament that the arbitrary nature of the bands “appeared to believe that the Caribbean was further away than California,” is a clear recognition of a crucial issue that has been the focus of the strong lobbying efforts by the CTO and its allies in the private sector, the Caribbean High Commissions, and the Diaspora.

Today’s announcement by the Chancellor is a small but important victory for the Caribbean.  In our various meetings with the British Government CTO opposed the idea of a Per Plane Tax for economic reasons. We also asked that the existing banding system be reviewed; for no more increases in the APD; and for it to be revised downwards in a new, fairer system. The Chancellor’s speech gives us positive results on all three points.

It is therefore clear evidence that the British government is listening to our concerns and that we have been effective in expressing them publicly and privately.

CTO is also pleased that we have been officially invited to continue to participate in further APD consultation over the coming weeks. In so doing we will continue to argue that the current banding system places the Caribbean at a disadvantage and hurts our economies. We will persist in our efforts to obtain a fairer system of aviation taxation that does not cripple travel to our heavily tourism-dependent region.

Therefore, in spite of today’s good news from the UK Chancellor, our advocacy on the APD is not over. All Caribbean tourism interests must continue to fight for APD reform in a manner that further removes any competitive disadvantage, and does not hamper our efforts to achieve sustainable growth in tourism, for the benefit of the People of the Caribbean.

Posted in: 2011 News, APD, Blog

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