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Published on : Monday, November 18, 2013
St. Kitts and Nevis: British Airways has pledged to continue opposing the implementation of the Air Passenger Duty (APD), a tax administered by the British government which the Caribbean countries argue is unfair and affecting tourism negatively. Mr. Colm Lacy, Head of Gatwick Commercial British Airways was the guest speaker Saturday night at the St Kitts Tourist Experience Awards, held at Carambola Restaurant on the South East Peninsula.
“We’ve have repeatedly made ourselves clear to the UK government that we thought APD
prevents economic growth and kills job creation. An independent study earlier this year indicated clearly that UK treasury would be better off is the tax is abolished all together,” Lacy said.
The APD is an excise duty which is charged on the carriage of passengers flying from a United Kingdom airport based on the distance travelled to the respective destination. The Caribbean is lumped into the highest tax band and Caribbean governments and tourism stakeholders have protested this was unfair to the region as it was tourism dependent compared to other regions as that are further in distance from the UK.
Tourism ministers from the region and the Caribbean Tourism Organization have been lobbying with British authorities to take a second look at the tax and remove it altogether. Addressing scores of tourism officials, stakeholders and invited guests, Mr. Lacy discussed other matters pertaining to the strides made in St. Kitts Nevis tourism and the willingness of British Airways to partner with the destination. He lauded the high-end tourism accommodations being built on St. Kitts such as Koi Resorts and Residences and Kittitian Hill and said he was pleased with the announcements of plans by the tourism minister Richard Skerritt of increased hotel stock.
Mr. Lacy went on to note that European and US economy had registered a small growth in recent times and this is a sign the global economy is recovering. As such, for the Caribbean and St.
Kitts in particular to benefit from this and see growth in the tourism industry, Mr. Lacy believes there is need for all partners to work together.