Travel Daily

Tourist tax a “kick in the face”


SHADOW Minister for Trade and Tourism, Kevin Hogan has condemned the Federal Government’s ‘tourism tax’, joining the industry’s widespread criticism of the budget decision to raise the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) and increase visa costs ( TD 10 May).

When asked about the PMC at Liberal’s Budget in Reply Dinner last night at the National Musuem in Canberra, Hogan described the PMC raise as a “kick in the face for our tourism industry.

“With the costs of airline tickets already sky high due to capacity constraint­s, these measures will only make internatio­nal travellers look at alternativ­e destinatio­ns for their travel experience­s.

“We are competing against the rest of the world to attract internatio­nal travellers in what is a fiercely competitiv­e market,” he added.

Australia’s visitor visa and working holiday visa applicatio­n charges were among the highest in the world, he emphasised, citing our $380 fee as triple that of a Canadian visa and double the cost of United Kingdom and United States visas.

“This ‘tourist tax” comes on top of the government’s Oct budget revenue-raising measure where they cut $35 million in funding from Tourism Australia,” Hogan said.

“The return of the internatio­nal traveller to Australia has been slow, we are well below 2019 levels while other markets have seen internatio­nal tourism return to pre-pandemic levels.”

“Our tourism operators are mostly small and medium businesses who are contending with higher business costs driven by inflationa­ry pressures.

“They need this government­s support; not a ‘tourist tax’,” he concluded.

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