Victoria’s peak tourism industry body today called on the Federal Government to ensure the tax incurred by visitors leaving Australia is not increased, as the additional cost would be a disincentive for international visitors.
“Visitors to Australia pay one of the highest departure taxes in the world. Any increase will particularly negatively impact the price-sensitive leisure travel market, which has been one of the biggest growth sectors for international visitation to Victoria. We don’t want to see this promising trend reversed because of a tax hike,” said VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.
Ms Smith’s comments come amid the Federal Government’s review of the $55 per person Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) incurred by travellers when leaving Australia.
“Australia is already an expensive holiday destination by international standards. The focus must be on reducing taxes to drive greater visitation and encourage guests to spend money at our cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions to support job creation,” said Ms Smith.
VTIC’s announcement echoes those made by the Australian Tourism Export Council, Tourism and Transport Forum and National Tourism Alliance in calling on the Federal Government to honour its pre-election promise to ensure the charge remains unchanged.
“At $55 the PMC is a substantial proportion of the airfare from popular destinations such as New Zealand,” said Ms Smith.
“The Federal Government has identified tourism as a key growth sector and any increase to the PMC will hamper industry growth.”