Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Okay to seek legal opinion on APD

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SEEKING A LEGAL opinion on an increased air passenger duty (APD) or the institution of a per-plane tax by the United Kingdom on British travellers to the Caribbean should not be seen as an adversarial step.New president of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Colin Jordan said at a recent Press conference at Hilton Barbados: “I know that the Caribbean Tourism Organisation is approaching it from a World Trade Organisation (WTO) perspective – a fair trade perspective – [and asking] whether this a barrier to free trade. “I think it is legitimate to ask the World Trade Organisation or the other organisations that are responsible for that type of administration if it is fair.“Taking a legal route might sound adversarial [but] that is not how tourism operates. Tourism is a people-sharing-experiences kind of industry, so even when we want to ask opinions of legal people or the WTO, it is not going  to be adversarial,” Jordan noted.He pointed out that “sometimes you have to go to court just to get an independent ruling on whether a thing is right or wrong”, and the CTO was staffed with veterans in the tourism business who he did not believe would pursue that answer in an antagonistic fashion. We are very aware that the United Kingdom government has a responsibility to keep its economy afloat. We also believe that as a country that has supported the UK over the years – the Barbados economy and many other Caribbean economies supported the UK economy over many, many years –  we believe the UK government really has a moral responsibility to make sure whatever it does is fair to us while addressing its own issues,” Jordan said. (SR)

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