JIS News

Regional governments today ramped up their efforts to have the UK Government reconsider their recent sharp increase of the Air Passenger Duty (APD). This as Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, along with a delegation of Caribbean Tourism Ministers and High Commissioners, met with members of the Scottish Parliament, in Scotland this afternoon, in continuation of the lobby against the APD. The controversial tax that is applied to the cost of airline tickets originating in the UK has resulted in a reduction in bookings for several countries in the region.
In commenting on the high level talks, Minister Bartlett expressed that the deliberations went extremely well. He revealed that they had extensive discussions with the Cross Party Group, which consists of representatives from Scotland’s Conservative, Labour and Green parties. Minister Bartlett emphasized that the group has undertaken to take the campaign against the APD to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, an organization, of British origin, which works to support democracy, good governance, and human rights. The Cross Party Group also intends to enlist the support of human rights and ethics activists groups, as they see the tax as discriminatory. They maintain that the duty will deny thousands of persons the opportunity to visit their loved ones in times of distress and need.
Amid mounting concerns over the implications of the increased duty, the Caribbean delegation outlined the economic impact it has already had and the deleterious impact it will continue to have on the economies of Caribbean nations which are dependent on tourism. In fact, the Caribbean Tourism Organization has reported that the number of visitors to the region from the UK has decreased since the sharp increase in the APD earlier this month. On November 1, the APD was increased from

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