War declared on APD
President and CEO of the word travel and tourism council David Scowsill says it is time to go to war on the Air Passenger Duty (APD), implemented by the United Kingdom.
The Air Passenger Duty is a tax on travel from the United Kingdom, with higher costs for distances further away from Britain.
There was an increase in the tax this past April.
Regional governments have been lobbying the UK for a revision of the policy saying it could cut travel to the Caribbean
Mr. Scowsill calls the tax a disease and says it should be stopped before its spreads.
He is calling on Caribbean tourism partners to join with the world travel and tourism council in the fight against the APD.
According to him, there has been much discussion about the APD, but that the arguments and appeals had fallen on deaf ears in the treasury in London.
He points out that the Caribbean has been at the forefront of the argument that the structure of the APD leaves the region at a significant competitive disadvantage, compared to other destinations across the world.
The WTTC president states that the tax is hurting the UK economy as well.
He adds that the global tourism industry needs to speak with one voice and one message on the issue.
He was addressing the opening session of the Caribbean Tourism Summit and Outlook seminar 2012 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St James.
The tourism stakeholders from across the region and other parts of the globe have gathered to examine issues facing the industry.
Among the challenges highlighted are the need to facilitate open skies and borders air connectivity and travel facilitation including making visa processing easier.