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British Chancellor makes it cheaper to fly to the paradise island of Grenada
March 25, 2014Article by Ray Withers
Families across Britain are considering a range of exciting new destinations for their holidays next year, after Chancellor George Osborne committed to the revamping of the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax as part of last week’s budget announcement.
More Caribbean for your cash
From India to the Caribbean, a range of long-haul destinations will be cheaper for UK passengers to access from 2015 onwards, thanks to the planned abolition of the two highest APD tax bands. The change will rationalise the current grading system of APD taxation, with Mr Osborne confirming,
“From next year, all long-haul flights will carry the same, lower, band B tax rate that you now pay to fly to the United States.”
The news was hailed as a victory by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, which had been lobbying for the change for some time. The organisation’s Chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, explains,
“This is a complete victory for the Caribbean, which, led by the CTO, has been lobbying against the unfair system which charged a higher rate of APD on flights to Barbados than Hawaii and placed the United States at a competitive advantage. We are delighted that the Chancellor has finally accepted the Caribbean’s proposal made in November 2010 to return to the simpler and fairer two band system.”
Spicing up air travel
The news came as a double reason to celebrate for the ‘Spice Island’ of Grenada, following the announcement late last year of the completion of the $100 million British Airways product enhancement investment. Upgrades have included changes to first class cabins on BA’s routes into and out of Grenada, which now provide passengers with something more akin to a private jet experience.
As one of the Caribbean’s more exclusive destinations, the BA upgrade has added to the up-scale reputation of the island’s tourism sector. As Grenada’s Tourism Minister, Alexandria Noel-Otway, recently explained, with fewer than 2,000 beds (just 0.7% of the Caribbean total), the island’s focus is on affluent, high-spending tourists, not on mass visitor numbers.
The Cinnamon Suites at Bacolet Bay epitomise the level of luxury that Grenada’s visitors command. The 5* hotel accommodation comes with sea views and a range of stunning resort facilities. Those investing in the suites, which are available from £248,500 (25% below independent real estate valuation) are able to receive double the benefit from their investment, with 4 weeks’ personal usage adding a lifestyle element to the financial returns of 10.5% average projected NET yield per annum.
A super yachting sector
Grenada’s endeavours to attract the super-wealthy certainly seem to be paying off so far as the island’s yachting sector is concerned, with Now Grenada reporting the development of Port Louis as having had a significant impact. Yacht and superyacht passengers have been increasingly attracted to Grenada over recent years thanks to the island’s steadily growing, first-class marine and yachting facilities.
With Grenada pegged by the World Travel and Tourism Council as likely to be the fastest growing Caribbean market between 2011 and 2021 and a newly revived citizenship by investment programme attracting real estate investors with $500,000 and more to spend, it seems that the island’s reputation as the Caribbean’s ultra-luxury destination is certainly safe for now. The growing number of property developers in Grenada is proof of how much the property market is booming there.