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News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thurs. Mar. 24, 2011: The Chairman of The Caribbean Tourism Organization has welcomed the British Chancellor’s announcement that the country’s Air Passenger Duty will be frozen this year.

Chairman and Minister of Government, Richard “Ricky” Skerritt said Wednesday that the Chancellor’s statement to the British parliament is a clear recognition of the strong lobbying efforts by the CTO and its allies in the private sector, the Caribbean High Commissions and the Diaspora.

But he warned that 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,” said Skerritt.

Chancellor George Osborne this week told the House of Commons that passengers would not have to pay the increase – planned for November – until April 2012 due to ‘hefty’ rises in the tax last year.

APD in the UK is already up to 8.5 times more than the European average. And a family of four travelling to the Caribbean would pay £300 (based on four people at £75 per flight).

Osborne said this week he would look to consult ‘from today’ on how to change the banding system ‘which appeared to believe that the Caribbean was further away than California.’

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