Published on Friday, May 15, 2020

IATA urges Caribbean to cut airport taxes to stay competitive

Airline trade group IATA is urging Caribbean governments to cut passenger taxes if they want to benefit from the post pandemic recovery.

IATA's regional VP for the Americas, Peter Cerda, says some nations risk losing market share when travel resumes.

Airlines will be reluctant to return to some Caribbean destinations if pricing is not competitive.

"One of the biggest problems that we've always faced in Caribbean is it is a very highly taxed market. And it's always taxed on the airline side, on the passenger, consumer side. And this will be a big challenge for the Caribbean once we are able to escape from this crisis," Cerda said.

The industry is 'as bad as one could expect' and will be a competitive market when things improve, although to begin with, travelers will 'rather remain close to home.'

Unless travel is priced competitively, 'these passengers may decide to go somewhere else, somewhere else in Central America, Mexico or even see in the US,' he said during a Caribbean Tourism Organization's Covud-19 podcast.

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