Taxes Killing Barbados Intra-Regional Travel

One Way Barbados to St. Lucia = BDS$93.73 in taxes, plus US$16.75 Fuel & Insurance Surcharge

Book a month in advance and the taxes on a ONE-WAY ticket with LIAT to St. Lucia from Barbados amount to BDS$93.73 alone, and that doesn’t include the US$16.75 fuel and insurance surcharge.

Why is it that the Government is calling on the private sector tourism industry to protect employment and safeguard jobs and yet they appear to be deaf to the overwhelming calls to reduce taxes on intra regional travel?

Despite the Caribbean currently being the third largest source of long stay visitors to Barbados, and this could well change due to restricted air travel caused by the Swine Flu epidemic, it still is treated as the ‘Cinderella’ of our major markets.

With ongoing subsidies of up to US$300 per passenger, plus all the extra costs associated with the Best of Barbados programme in the United States, the least per capita BTA marketing spend is on the Caribbean, despite it producing the highest return on investment.

Prior to being revoked as a Director of the Barbados Tourism Authority, I repeatedly asked, (and it is minuted), for empirical evidence of the economical justification for the Best of Barbados programme. Sadly it was never forthcoming.

It is also difficult to understand why any organisation would the sell a substantial percentage of a product at below cost, especially in a market that has not even kept abreast of inflation for seven consecutive years, when other markets are performing better.

Before we start to see the closure of yet more tourism partners, I urge our Minister of Tourism and his counterparts in the entire Caribbean to take a look at how a reduction in taxes could greatly assist some of them staying in business.

Adrian Loveridge
30th April 2009

20 Comments

Filed under Barbados

20 responses to “Taxes Killing Barbados Intra-Regional Travel

  1. FearPlay

    Could not have said it better myself. I flew to Trinidad 4 weeks ago. I flew out of Barbados in the morning and returned that same night. Cost to me? $647. Three hundred more dollars and I could have gone to Miami. Taxes, airport charges, security surcharge etc. will kill Caribbean travel. You can fly New York/California on a red-eye flight for little to nothing. Greed is a terrible disease.

  2. Seriously?

    are u seriously complaining about BDS$110.48 one-way to a caribbean island via plane?!!! if there was a road leading to st lucia, how much pray tell do u imagine one would spend in petrol?

    how much would you like to see one way tickets to caricom costing? $50?!

    i once spent $700 for a ticket for two to st vincent, that was pricey in my opinion but you are really taking this complaint too far now, especially since that fare was set by LIAT and was high even without the taxes.

  3. akabozik

    It is so typical that even as a director Adrian was denied access to the very data that would justify (or not justify) the expenditures of our tax dollars.

    Where is the transparency and accountability that David Thompson and his bunch promised? How much of the money is going to overseas “consultants”???

    How much are the “consultants” paying to other “consulting” firms owned by DLP members???

  4. BajanAuthor

    @Seroiously:
    I think that $110.48 (and it’s actually more that that) is the tax alone, not the price of the ticket.

  5. Jason

    Read the article again. That $110.48 is tax only.

    U are a idiot.

  6. leadership

    Obama does more things in a day than David Thompson has done in a generation of politics including making decisions, giving speeches and answering tough questions.

    Everything flows from the top on down so don’t expect transparency and accountability. The electorate gets what it deserves.

    Are there no well educated young Barbadians that want to try and change the system no matter how difficult.

  7. Grammar police

    i hate to be pedantic but i would have liked to see you use ‘an’, given that idiot starts with a vowel.

  8. Grammar police

    correction- young education barbadians are not given a CHANCE to change the system. i wish barbados free press would take some time to write about how young people in this country are maligned DAILY by bureaucrats and have to turn to all kinds of seedy activity to get money.

  9. Anonymous

    and yet somehow airports have to be paid for….

  10. leadership

    Grammar Police

    blogs are the perfect means of telling your stories on an anonymous basis which could be quite compelling and wake up Barbadians to the oppression of the bureaucracy. Please tell us your stories without having to identify yourselves.

  11. Pat

    @ grammar police

    In Bim we say “you is a idiot’!

  12. Grammar police

    Not me. Do you really believe the government doesn’t know or can’t find out who’s behind a blog? I don’t have time to do all the cloaking and stuff BFP has to do, and if I had to say what I wanted to say – I’d be having my house burnt down and shot up by these corrupt politicians. Hate Barbados – I’d rather leave.

  13. Anonymous

    Exactly…

    A friend of mine booked TWO return tickets, Barbados to Toronto, a few weeks ago for a grand total of US$270 via WestJet which included all of the Barbados and Canadian Taxes!!!!

    Despite this some people still refuse to accept that LIAT’s base fares are too high but expect the airport infrastructure to be maintained by AIR…

  14. BOTTOM LINE

    “if there was a road leading to st lucia, how much pray tell do u imagine one would spend in petrol?” FROM HERE TO ST. LUCIA IS ABOUT 100 MILES? Figure it out yourself if you can do elementary math. How many miles per gallon does your car give? 30? Let’s see… 30 x 4 = 120. How much does 4 gallons of gasoline cost??? I know this may be a tough mathematical calculation for you … get your primary-school child to help you…..

  15. cq8

    No wonder Loveridge was fired as a Director.

    We can’t have directors asking real questions about where the money was spent!

    This DLP government sounds and acts like the BLP government, no doubt about it.

  16. Wright B.Astard

    @Bottom line On a business trip in the USA recently to a city which has no regional airport,no Greyhound bus route and no Amtrak link to the not-so-nearest International Airport ,some 80 miles away,the return cab fare was US$320.

  17. akabozik

    You are not a smart b–tard because car rentals can be had for us$40 per day anywhere!

  18. Ecoanalyst

    Governments in this Region have failed to understand encouraging competition and lowering the costs airlines (landing fees etc), and lowering the ticket taxes will help their economies.

    This discussion of high taxes and airport charges as well as monopoly pricing by LIAT is a recurring one. Nothing has been done about it.but our Caribbean leaders talk about CSME, economic development and business integration within the Region. This will not happen when the costs of communications – including telephone- are so high. Our leaders have failed us for over 40 years and we continue to listen to their excuses.

    Do we have tolls for the use of our roads? Well, since there are no roads between the islands we should have thought our how best to connect them by now at a reasonable cost. Otherwise we will remain underdeveloped and unconnected, and unable to attract serious foreign investment.

    Reasonably priced air and ferry services and small ships for inter-island trade should have been established long ago. Today we depend on LIAT’s small planes which do not have the load capacity even for their passengers’ baggage. It seems that NONE of the governments are willing to see regional travel as “roads” connecting economic “cities”. WE are still thinking of air travel as if it is the 1960’s.

    LIAT is a monopoly with overstaffed high priced Antigua based”management” and they are inefficient- their aim is to maximize profits irrespective of the effect on the traveling public.
    Governments look at airports as profit centres irrespective of the damage they do to their economies. Together they ensure that Regional travel will always be for the few.

    There is a need for larger planes for some routes with low air fares with reduced landing charges and taxes and efficient operations so that airlines can make a profit with increased passenger loads. There has to competition – like when Caribbean Star offered low fares – so that there is no monopoly pricing.

    Lower landing and parking fees and increased Regional travel will encourage new foreign airlines to establish operations here along with value-added operations like aircraft repairs and servicing. Inexpensive fares and shipping costs will definitely help regional business and tourism.The time for TALK is long over. However I believe but nothing will change as the people who run things like them just the way they are.

    We are still colonials, now managed by people who look like us… and we talk like we are free!. Break the Chains!

  19. Wright B.Astard

    @akabozik
    a smart enough B. Astard not to drive in the USA.

  20. Avatar Gurl

    Hey! I’m a smartly educated youth!

    I wanna be a bureaucrat! They get the BEST perks!

    Can someone train me?