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Published on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Barbados tries to entice UK visitors with 'free spending money'

Barbados has gone ahead with a voucher scheme to provide UK holidaymakers with up to £128 spending money to try to reverse a 10% decline in visitor numbers following the increase in air passenger duty.

The Barbados Island Inclusive offer, first mooted in July, provides guests with vouchers based on their length of stay, which can be redeemed in a wide variety of outlets across the destination, including restaurants, hotels, tour companies, car hore and shops.

The offer is valid for travel up to December 21, but trips must be booked before September 21.

A spokeswoman for the Barbados Tourism Authority in the UK said the initiative was launched in the light of air passenger duty, which has led to a decrease in visitor numbers from Britain year on year. Official figures show arrivals from the UK were down 10.7% in August compared with August 2012.

Since April this year, passengers have been charged £83 tax for a return flight to Barbados, which is £16 more than for a flight to Florida.

Under the BII scheme, guests who stay a minimum of five nights will receive vouchers worth US$150.00 (approx. £96) per person, and on stays seven nights or longer they will receive US$200.00 (approx. £128) per person based on a maximum of two persons per room.

Guests will receive a Barbados Island Inclusive Welcome Kit on arrival at the hotel, which will include cash vouchers and detail the outlets where the vouchers can be redeemed.

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