Why Jamaica is a great Destination for Visitors
Jamaica has always been a great destination for a holiday, but now there are more reasons than ever to add it to your bucket list. There has been some good news this week with the changes that are going to be made to the APD, or Air Passenger Duty that is payable when travelling from, or through the UK, when visiting Jamaica. This reduction in tax is not only going to appeal to holiday makers, as it will also affect all the passengers who fly to Jamaica to visit friends and family.
What is APD (Air Passenger Duty)?
The United Kingdom has an excise duty (tax) called APD which is added to the cost of flights flying out of any UK airport and includes passengers who ‘stop over’ in the UK for longer than 24 hours for a connecting flight. The duty is only applied to aircraft that have an authorised take-off weight of more than ten tonnes, or that are capable of carrying more than 20 passengers. As the levy is calculated in ‘Bands’ dependent on the distance flown, long haul flights have felt the brunt of the charges affecting the price of flights to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Although the APD tax was introduced partly as an environmental measure to curb carbon emissions, the charges were set at a flat rate and did not reflect the age or energy efficiency of the aircraft on long haul flights.
How Is APD (Air Passenger Duty) Calculated?
Jamaica currently falls into Band C, this Band includes flights that are between 4,001 and 6,000 miles from London to the capital city of the destination country. Since April 2013 this has meant that up to £300.00 of tax has been added to the cost of the flight. However for the first time in years the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced during his Budget presentation that the Caribbean region will be moved from Band C to Band B with effect from April 2015. The new Band B will be charged at the planned rate in 2015-16 of £71 for reduced rate passengers and £142 for standard rate passengers. The reduction is APD has been long-awaited as the steady increases have pushed Caribbean holidays out of many travellers budgets and especially affected the cost to frequent fliers visiting families and friends.
Why was APD Unfair to People Wanting to Travel to Jamaica?
As the APD was based on the distance from London to a country’s capital city, it made the charges unfair and gave favour to other long haul destinations over the wider Caribbean. For example, a 4,400-mile flight to Trinidad is taxed up to £332, but a trip to Hawaii, 7,000 miles away would cost up to £268 tax, because the US capital is closer to London!
How Did Jamaica Help Secure the Reduction in APD?
A CARICOM High-Level Committee was established to tackle the levy and comprised of select CARICOM High Commissioners, the Caribbean Council and representatives from the private sector. The Honourable Arnold J. Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, Jamaica’s High Commissioner in London, lead the delegation that culminated in a meeting with UK Members of Parliament to raise their concerns about the harmful effect of the high levy on the Jamaican economy. Additionally, a CARICOM Coordinating Committee of Caribbean nationals was set up in the UK to raise awareness of the campaign. Following the move by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK, Minister Nicholson described the budget announcement as “a victory for the economic diplomacy of Jamaica and the entire Caribbean region”.
Take this Opportunity to Book Your Holiday or Flight to Jamaica for 2015!
Get More From Sweet Jamaica – Join Us Here…
Want to get updates on the move then join our FaceBook Page and Twitter Feed so you don’t miss out!
Like our FaceBook Page to get the latest news, photo’s, music, events, competitions and offers from Sweet Jamaica https://www.facebook.com/sweetjamaica.co.uk
Join our twitter feed @sweetjamaicajul for up to date happenings, information and fun from Sweet Jamaica https://twitter.com/sweetjamaicajul
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Walk Good, Jules