Willie Walsh outlined the impact of Air Passenger Duty to Caribbean tourism at a conference today. The British Airways Chief Executive discussed the ‘unfair’ tax in a speech to the Caribbean Tourism Organisations’s Leadership Strategy Conference in Barbados. “Rightly, you have great concerns about the UK Government’s increases in Air Passenger Duty, which reach a new peak at the start of next month,” he explained. “APD on longhaul routes has tripled or, to some destinations, even quadrupled in four years.” Rises in the levy range between 50 and 112% compared to the levels last year. The tax has been criticised for its calculation, as it incurs larger charges for a family of four to the Bahamas than Hawaii, although the distance is shorter to the Caribbean island. As a result, and with holidaymakers still feeling the pinch, the Caribbean has seen a 12% drop in UK arrivals. “The tax from the UK to the Caribbean is so disproportionate that the APD revenue taken on a typical flight is nearly ten times the actual carbon cost of that flight,” said Walsh. “And even if families find the extra money to pay the tax, they will have less to spend when they arrive here. So they may stay for shorter periods, eat out fewer times in restaurants, take fewer excursions and spend less on local goods and services.” He added that he expects more taxes to come; long-haul destinations to suffer and that some airlines could go bust.