The Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of the Tourism Authority in that country, Mr. Colin James, made the announcement on Wednesday morning, (10th October), while briefing the media at the CTO State of the Industry Conference, now taking place in St. Kitts.
James revealed that the new tax structure for passengers will become effective from 1st November, 2012. He clarified, however, that portions of the tax are applicable for both arriving and departing passengers.
He explained that previously there was an airport facility charge and also a departure tax, but now they will combine both charges, and add a new administrative tax, that will be incorporated in the overall fees. These will be applied at the point of purchasing an airline ticket for travel. This, said James, will eliminate the need for long lines for the payment of departure tax, thus making it more convenient for travellers who would now have one less line to worry about.
At present, passengers pay US$54 but the new fees will be increased to US$75.00 come next month. One of the reasons advanced for the added fees, explained the Tourism Authority CEO, is the need for funding for the construction and maintenance of a new terminal building, to replace the old facility that was built approximately 30 years ago.
James disclosed that construction started since in 2011 and delivery of the new terminal is on track for early 2014. He said local authorities there have come a long way in improving the passenger arrival and departure experience in Antigua.
There will be three separate levels for the new terminal; completed with jet bridges, flight display information systems, several first class departure lounges and genuine duty free shops.
While briefing the media today, the Antigua Tourism Authority official also outlined some of the major gains they have made in the development of their sites and places of attractions, but he also shared information on successes they have enjoyed in marketing an improved airlift to the destination.
The CTO conference opened in St. Kitts on Wednesday evening and is taking place at the St. Kitts Marriott in Frigate Bay. It ends of Friday 12th October.