Barbados tourism to benefit: Air Passenger Duty eliminated for flights from Belfast.

The imposition of an expensive Air Passenger Duty from the United Kingdom devastated our long stay visitor arrival numbers over the last few years, so Barbadians should be cheering the latest news that as of January 1, 2013, APD will be cancelled for long haul flights from Northern Ireland.

The obvious thing for our Barbados Tourism Authority to do now is to target Irish and nearby markets where tourists can be looking at direct flights from Northern Ireland. There should be a marked increase in traffic from the Republic of Ireland if the BTA gets at it.

What a great place to feature the new Rihanna Barbados tourism campaign and commercials!

Can the Barbados Tourism Authority move quickly to capitalize on this new development? It’s a gift so I hope so!

Over to you, BTA…

Belfast International Airport

Air Passenger Duty reduced to zero on all long haul flights from Belfast

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has welcomed the abolishment of Air Passenger Duty on long haul flights from Northern Ireland from January 2013.

The Final Stage of the Air Passenger Duty Bill was passed in the Assembly today. This means that Air Passenger Duty on direct long haul flights departing from Northern Ireland airports will be reduced to zero with effect from January 2013.

Welcoming this Sammy Wilson said: “The Executive committed in the Programme for Government to reduce the Air Passenger Duty for direct long haul flights to zero. The legislation passed today delivers on this commitment and is good news for our economy in these challenging financial times.

“Direct airlinks facilitate local firms in doing business with customers outside the region, they are also vital for the local tourism industry and in attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Northern Ireland – both key to growing and rebalancing our economy.

“Abolishing Air Passenger Duty on long haul flights will help to protect and improve our international air access and ensure the competitiveness of our airports. It will enable Northern Ireland to remain an attractive place to do business and I also hope that it will help secure flights to new long haul destinations.”

John Doran, Belfast International Airport’s managing Director said: “Given the increasing differential with regard to direct long haul Air Passenger Duty levels between the UK and Republic of Ireland, and the very specific problems which this caused for Northern Ireland connectivity, we are grateful to the Northern Ireland Executive and HM Treasury that decisive action has been taken.

“As the International Airport we now look forward with renewed vigour to building upon the success of our direct US air links, as well as reaching out into key additional long haul markets in Canada and the eastern hemisphere, in partnership with the investment and tourism authorities.”

The Finance Minister concluded: “The Executive’s determination and success in pressing for the devolution of Air Passenger Duty on direct long haul flights from Northern Ireland provides a strong example of how the Executive and the Assembly are taking positive steps to support economic growth in Northern Ireland.”

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados

14 responses to “Barbados tourism to benefit: Air Passenger Duty eliminated for flights from Belfast.

  1. judyjudy

    NO AIRLINE FLIES DIRECT FROM N IRELAND TO BARBADOS . PASSENGERS FLY TO GATWICK TO CATCH A BA OR VIRGIN FLIGHT. AND BELIEVE ME THE NEW RHIANNA CAMPAIGN WILL NOT ATTRACT TOURISTS TO BARBADOS. HER ANTICS ARE WELL PUBLICISED . PEOPLE SEE HER AS SLACK AND PARTYING ENDLESSLY. NOT A GOOD ADVERT

  2. St George's Dragon

    And the word is abolition not abolishment.

  3. Once again they chase a pipe dream, the only thing tourist would want to know is if all the women in b’dos lack morals like their idol.

  4. victor

    I imagine this is a ploy to attract passengers flying to the US from Northern Ireland to discourage them from using airports in the Republic of Ireland or getting flights from other UK airports.

  5. Adrian Loveridge

    There are many plus points here. Belfast International Airport has an annual throughput of 4.1 million passengers (2011) and Dublin is only roughly 100 miles away.
    Two charter airlines with aircraft that are capable of operating the route Belfast-Barbados, 4.059 miles or about 8 flying hours. Thomas Cook – A330-200 with 323 seats and B767-300ER with 326 seats. Thomson – B767-200ER with 290 seats and B767-300ER with 283 seats.
    Even if it is a once weekly service or a double-drop with St. Lucia and Barbados.
    There is also the cruise passenger air transfer potential. Cruise ship operators are also fed-up with the dreaded APD.

    Its clearly going to be a snooze-you-lose situation. If ‘we’ don’t do something, you can bet your life one of our many competitors will.

  6. glynnUK

    Adrian, thank you for another well informed and positive comment. Keep them coming: someone somewhere may eventually take heed!

  7. Adrian Loveridge

    glynnUK, Thank you very much. I live in hope!

  8. Jack Bowman

    Dear BFP folks,

    This is completely off-topic. Apologies for that. Of course, remove it immediately if it’s a jarring bore on this thread. Didn’t want it to get lost in your “Open Discussion” area.

    I’m surprised you haven’t done a piece on this fascinating story (http://atlantablackstar.com/2012/11/06/barbados-takes-lead-in-fight-for-reparations-for-slavery-in-the-caribbean/), or at least made it known to readers who might have views on the matter.

    Keep up the good work and all best wishes,
    JB

  9. Hope this is not another case where bims tax payers pay for tourist to arrive, just so a few can benefit.

  10. Adrian Loveridge

    well well,

    exactly who does NOT benefit from tourism in some degree on Barbados?

  11. rastaman

    I do not.Used to but not anymore.

  12. Hotels B

    Babados is very nice place for your holiday destination.

  13. A lot of people in bim don’t benefit from tourism, a lot realize its just certain people who actually do in a big way. $150 b’dos a week with th high cost of living there is not benefitting. Most will finally learn that the dependency on tourism indefinitely will ultimately be to the detriment of the majority, while the few who are actually benefitting would have saved enough to uproot and resettle somewhere else.