Rising taxes trigger operator angst

Rising taxes trigger operator angst
By admin

The level of taxes and charges imposed on visitors to Australia has emerged as one of the key concerns for the tourism industry, a new Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) report has revealed.

The TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey for the September quarter showed that more than 80% of executives said the dollar continued to have a medium to high level of impact on their businesses. But it also showed those levels are in decline.

“The share who say it is having a high impact has fallen from two thirds of all respondents 18 months ago to under half as the high dollar becomes the new normal,” the report said.

While the exchange rate continued to be the number one concern, one third of respondents placed rising tourism levies among their top three business impediments, up 15 percentage points year on year.

TTF chief executive John Lee identified a number of recent changes to charges on tourists as a cause for concern.

“The Passenger Movement Charge went up from $47 to $55 on July 1 and plans for a 28% increase in the cost of working holiday maker visas from $280 to around $360 are concerning the industry,” Lee said.

“These increases are amplified by the consistently strong Australian dollar which remains the number one concern for tourism businesses.”

Meanwhile, quality and frequency of major events was nominated as a top three concern by one quarter of respondents, followed by shortages of skilled and unskilled labour.

However, overall sentiment within the industry rebounded over the third quarter with the report recording a performance index of 96 – approaching normal levels.

Expectations about the international market rose 16 points to 103, above the baseline rating of 100 for the first time in two years, while domestic expectations rose 14 points to 111, their highest level since the survey commenced in 2008.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

tourism ttf

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