Barbados’ Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), David Comissiong said that Governments across the region have realised that air travel in the region was too high, and that it was a mistake to heavily tax air travel.
Comissiong was speaking on Barbados’ INO Podcast.
He said, ” It is counterproductive, we all recognise that now. But the problem is that government budgets in several countries have come so much to rely on the revenue derived from those tickets, so the question is, how can we transition to other forms of tax revenue, and that is the troubling issue?”
He said Governments need to find ways to rectify the issue as the pandemic has forced them to find the answers to tough questions, as travel and tourism have suffered.
This is negatively affecting those countries that rely on the sector for most of its revenue.
Comissiong revealed that more than 50% of the travel fees were taxed before the pandemic.
“With all the obstacles to tourism now, we in Barbados are going to be trying to convince our Caribbean brothers and sisters particularly the ones in the low-risk countries [to visit]. No longer can you go to New York or London for holiday, come to Barbados – You want a vacation? Come here!
He said Caribbean countries will begin to realize the “valuableness” of intra-regional travel and it is going to force decision-makers to find ways to reduce taxes.