PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (January 25, 2012) – The leadership of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) called on the media to maintain pressure on the British government to repeal its controversial Airline Passenger Duty (APD) which was damaging the economies of the region’s countries.
Joseph Forstmayr of Jamaica, the association’s president, contended the tax had reduced the number of UK visitors to the Caribbean by some 90,000 a year in contrast to other European countries without such levies.
Economic damage leveled by the tax on the islands was even more damaging because UK visitors stayed between 10 and 14 days in the Caribbean, which Forstmayr added was a considerable amount of revenue lost to regional communities and businesses.
Forstmayr belittled “all types of British development programs because nothing builds economies like tourism”.
Declaring “there is no better development instrument than tourism,” Forstmayr exhorted the UK to “send us your visitors.”
Alec Sanguinetti, Director General and CEO of the CHTA, agreed none of the British Government’s aid programs in the region approached the value of tourism to local economies. He called for innovative ways of protesting the punitive UK taxes such as slogans on Caribbean athletes competing in the Olympics in London this summer.