Above: a British Airways plane (Photo: British Airways)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Caribbean Tourism Organization has announced what it is calling a “highly-focused” CTO Aviation Committee aimed at facilitating air transportation into and throughout the Caribbean region.
The move was first hinted at by incoming CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty at the CTO’s State of the Industry Conference last month in St Kitts.
The committee is being co-chaired by St Kitts and Nevis Tourism and International Transport Minister and former CTO Chairman Sen. Ricky Skerritt.
In a statement, the CTO said the committee’s composition reflected “technical, regulatory and policy-making experience and has public/private sector representation from tourism professionals, accommodations, airlines, airports and aviation consultancies.”
The committee will be charged with several responsibilities, including developing and implementing strategies for improving intra-Caribbean tourism; examining the “volume and potential” of air service into and within the region; reviewing the status of regulations governing air transportation to and within the region and “encouraging and facilitating the establishment of practices and procedures that ease the movement of passengers to and throughout the region.”
It’s likely that “status of regulations governing air transportation” will include the British Air Passenger Duty, a tax on flights originating in the United Kingdom that has provoked controversy in the Caribbean for what some in the region see as discriminatory tax calculation.
The Aviation Committee will also look to improve and develop relationships between stakeholders in Caribbean aviation industry.
Intra-regional travel and the continued problem of airlift was a major talking point at last month’s conference.