CaribWorldNews, LONDON, England, Weds. Sept. 8, 2010: A high-level delegation of Caribbean tourism ministers continued their lobbying against higher Air Passenger Duty in London this week with a meeting with the Commonwealth Secretariat.
As part of a regional mission to develop closer ties and lobby the British government to chance their stance on the APD, the ministers met with the Secretariat.
John Maginley, Minister of Tourism Civil Aviation and Culture for Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization said the meeting was set up to explore ways in which the Secretariat can support Commonwealth and Caribbean nations concerned about the UK`s Air Passenger Duty and the proposed 2012 European Emissions Trading Scheme.
`What is increasingly clear is that many organizations and countries share the same concerns as the Caribbean region and we will all have a greater voice by working closely together,` he said.
Representatives from six CTO Member Countries took part in the discussions with the Commonwealth Secretariat including Tony Johnson, High Commissioner Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica, John Lynch, Director of Tourism, Jamaica, Senator Allen Chastanet, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, St Lucia, Hugh Anthony Arthur, Barbados High Commission, Senator Richard Skerritt, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, St Kitts and Nevis and Glynis Roberts, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Grenada along with Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The Caribbean delegation has met with the Association of British Travel Agents on the issue. From 1 November the Air Passenger Duty will be increased from £50 (US$77) to £75 (US $115). Stakeholders are worried that a higher tax will result in fewer visitors to the region.