International passenger arrivals have risen significantly after airport fees at Cartagena’s International Airport were lowered in 2015.

After cutting fees it charges airlines to $38 per passenger from $92, Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport international passenger numbers rose 26% in the past two years. In 2016, more than 4.5 million passengers used the airport.

According to IATA (International Air Transport Association) the more competitive cost structure has also allowed airlines to establish new routes—flights to Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Amsterdam and Madrid have been introduced at the airport.

IATA has called on governments throughout the region to recognize the benefits competitive fees provide.

“Unfortunately Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly the Caribbean, is rife with examples where onerous taxes and charges are imposed on aviation,” says Peter Cerda, IATA Regional Vice President, the Americas.

“The economic value that robust and sustainable connectivity creates far outweighs the short-term benefits that can be obtained through taxation.”