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.