Government has reduced the airport service charge from US $35 to US $20, in an effort to increase regional travel to the island. This reduction will be in place until December 14, 2023.
Leading off the debate on Tuesday, July 4, in the Lower House (Parliament) on the Airport Service Charge (Amendment) Bill 2023, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, indicated that the six-month reduction is intended to stimulate CARICOM travel to Barbados.
Minister Gooding-Edghill noted that the cost of inter-regional travel was high and to “stimulate the local market” this measure was being implemented.
“So, we’ve taken that decision. We recognise that the CARICOM market is price sensitive [and] we recognise if we are going to drive traffic to the destination in the absence of having what was LIAT in its former form, then we had to take the necessary steps to make the adjustments….
“We took this step because we felt confident that a reduction in the airport service charge will stimulate travel within the region and also ensure that we get more arrivals from the Caribbean into Barbados,” the Tourism Minister stated.
He also indicated that in addition to the airport service charge reduction measure, the Ministry had been working with regional airlines, such as Air Antilles and interCaribbean, to increase the number of weekly flights to the island.
Mr. Gooding-Edghill said: “I am pleased to say, based on the load factors coming out of both regional carriers, that we are seeing an increase in the number of arrivals from within CARICOM.”
The Airport Service Charge (Amendment) Bill 2023 was passed in the Senate (Upper House), on Wednesday, July 5.