Barbados Cuts Its Transit Fees
Barbados has announced a substantial reduction in transit fees for passengers coming through its Grantley Adams International Airport, en route to other Caribbean destinations.
The move, effective September 1st, 2008, is in response to a slowdown in transit traffic to and from other islands of the Eastern Caribbean, following the last increase in transit fees under the former Barbados government (which lost power last January 15th, 2008).
Minister of International Transport John Boyce announced the fee reduction after last week’s meeting of the Barbados cabinet.
“Effective September 1st, 2008, we have reduced the transit fees for international passengers transiting Grantley Adams Airport for the other Caribbean islands by some 50 per cent, and in the case of Caribbean transits by some 75 per cent, so that our rates are now as attractive or more attractive than most Caribbean islands in this regard,” he said.
The $60 (US$30) transit fee has been cut to $30 (US$15) for international passengers and $15 (US$7.5) for Caribbean passengers.
“We believe that these fees . . . may have been standing in the way of the effectiveness of Grantley Adams Airport as a hub for the Caribbean and because of this strategy we can already see a forward movement in LIAT traffic,” the minister added.
Mr. Boyce said the objective is to ensure that the Grantley Adams Airport remains a major regional hub in terms of air traffic.
Tourism is the main driver of the Barbados economy, by itself contributing nearly 15% of the island’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the total dollar value of all the goods and services produced in the country.
Provisional Barbados Central Bank figures indicate that in 2007, the sector earned about $172 million out of GDP that was estimated at $1.15 billion. By comparison, manufacturing accounted for about $64 million and agriculture, including sugar, about $50 million.
While tourist traffic from the major International destinations has continued to climb, visitors from the neighbouring Caribbean islands have been on the decline, particularly in the wake of rising International oil prices, which in turn pushed up air fares.
October 6th, 2008