Above: Port of Spain (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Trinidad and Tobago and Colombia will hold talks in May on the issue of enhancing air links in the Caribbean and South America, Acting Trinidad Prime Minister Winston Dookeran announced this week.
Colombia Foreign Relations Minister Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar agreed to the talks, which will include airlines from both countries.
“Recently, in Panama, a Meeting of Ministers of the Association of Caribbean States endorsed the notion of a new Caribbean Convergence Model,” Dookeran said. “Two anchors were identified for the execution plan: air transport links and development financing.”
Dookeran, who was speaking at the opening of the Sustainable Tourism Conference on Monday, also addressed the issue of the UK’s Air Passenger Duty, which has led to strong opposition from the Caribbean.
Echoing remarks by Carlos Vogeler last night, Dookeran said the APD “continues to have a deleterious effect on Caribbean economies, especially those who have traditionally depended on the UK tourism source market.”
“Governments of the Caribbean deem this tax a discriminatory one, given that the Caribbean has been placed in a band that makes travel to the Region much more expensive than traveling from London to the United States,” he said.