Tourism in Barbados

By on April 8, 2013

It has been a mixed year of performance for the region’s tourism industry, recording rising visitor numbers, but a continued decline in those coming out of the United Kingdom and in visitor spending.

Highlighting these recent figures, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley, said that there had been a rise in overall figures by five per cent, led by a 5.3 per cent rise out of both the United States and Canada.

The United Kingdom, a main source market for several islands, especially Barbados, dropped by six per cent.

Stating that the Summer Olympics was partially responsible for this drop, Riley suggested that the main cause was the continued impact of the discriminatory Air Passenger Duty (APD).

“Another factor we can’t ignore is the severe impact that the unfair and discriminatory Air Passenger Duty is having on our region’s performance in the British market. Much to the disappointment and frustration of the Caribbean, this crippling tax is due to rise even further in April 2013 while the discriminatory aspect of the distance ‘banding’ system remains. A family of four visiting the Caribbean and flying in economy will be expected to fork out 332 pounds sterling for APD and double that amount for a few extra inches of leg room if they fly in any class above economy. On the contrary, that same family would pay less APD to fly to US destinations that are far further away from London than any Caribbean country,” he outlined.

In his Christmas message, the Secretary General said this issue will continue to be fought against in the new year.

He remarked that in 2013 the CTO would be working more closely with its partners and members.

“As the international agency that leads tourism development in the Caribbean, we know there are plenty of opportunities to improve the quality and the value of the services we provide. We take our responsibility seriously and will use every resource available to us to improve the quality of life of all Caribbean people through tourism,” Riley stressed.

Photo credit: angietorres / / CC BY-NC-ND