Victory for common sense, says TTF

Victory for common sense, says TTF
By admin

The lobby group which spearheaded the anti-departure tax campaign has described its success in forcing a partial Government climbdown as a “victory for common sense”.

But Flight Centre, which was also involved in the crusade, said it was only a “moderately positive outcome”.

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) welcomed the decision to drop the indexing of the Passenger Movement Charge to the rate of inflation, a victory made sweeter after the government, following pressure from the Greens and Coalition, also agreed to inject a further $40 million into the industry.

The funds will be channelled into regional tourism.

“This is a substantial win for the tourism industry and a victory for common sense because automatically increasing the PMC every year would have seen the burden grow and grow,” chief executive John Lee said. “And we welcome the proposal to redirect more PMC revenue to promote regional tourism. This will see over $40m allocated to help boost regional tourism through projects such as the development of key tourism infrastructure and experiences in regional areas.”

Flight Centre was less upbeat, with spokesman Haydn Long stressing it did not mean the tax won’t rise again “nexy year or at other times”.

“The tax issue is moderately positive,” he said. “Price is important to inbound travellers who may be thinking of coming here. Any“The tax issue is moderately positive,” he said. “

The TTF worked closely with the Australian Federation of Travel Agents to lobby politicians with AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury saying the tax already collects more than double what is needed to process passengers.

“Having an automatic increase on the PMC…would have been particularly difficult for the travel and tourism industry to plan their annual budgets as the government would have had their hand in the pocked of people departing this country before any commercial realities could be considered,” he said.

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