Help to stop unfair Caribbean travel tax


Caribbean governments are furious at British plans to increase air passenger duty (APD) by up to 94% - a rate that will mean charges of £75 per person for economy class travellers to the region.

The charges will add had a significant financial burden on families and have a devastating effect on holiday considerations; and possibly even curtail the visits of those who have family links in the area.

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation are petitioning the treasury and meeting with parliamentarians to express their concerns. They state: "The tax has particularly angered the Caribbean community in the United Kingdom so much so that activists in Britain now believe that the banding for the Caribbean is potentially a UK electoral issue in marginal seats. They see the measure as unjust and are writing to their members of Parliament to know their position on the issue in the run up to the general election, expected in May of 2010".

But last month Treasury spokesman, Lord Myners, indicated that while the British Government would not review the overall tax or its banding based approach, but it was continuing to look at a possible exception for the Caribbean and this was being considered as part of a review of APD due to be published soon.

The campaigners are urging the travel industry and the Caribbean community to keep up the pressure on the Government and demand that the grossly unfair proposed charges are reviewed.

Earlier this year, Hugh Riley secretary-general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation writing in the Telegraph stated: 'From November this year, the Government will introduce a four-tier banding system, whereby destinations are banded and the amount of duty levied according to the distance between London and the destination's capital city. It implies that the damage to the environment caused by flights to the Caribbean is more than that caused by flights to Hawaii (it is banded along with the US despite being 3,000 miles further away than Barbados)'.

'The Caribbean has always enjoyed a close connection with Britain and, over the decades, growing numbers of British holidaymakers and friends and relatives of Caribbean nationals have improved links between our two parts of the world as travel went from being the preserve of the wealthy to a right for ordinary people'.

He continued,' I've heard it said that over half of people's most cherished memories are made away from home. If the tax goes ahead, most Britons won't be making memories in the Caribbean; and, I venture, the democratisation of air travel will be over'.

The Telegraph campaign states that: Air Passenger Duty (APD) will further penalise British holidaymakers. Misleadingly, it is being portrayed by the Government as an environment tax, and yet it is targeted at ordinary travellers taking well-earned holidays, while those using private jets are being taxed. Telegraph Travel believes that APD is:

  • Bad for travellers
  • Bad for tourism
  • Bad for business
  • Does nothing to help the environment

If you agree, and would like to support the Telegraph campaign for APD to be abolished register your support at:

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation MPs letter can be found at website: