Exciting news, folks, it’s budget day!
Well, technically yesterday was because it was announced last night but we didn’t want to hang around the office too late so we are now declaring today budget day instead.
Anyway, we’ve sifted through this year’s budget to find out how it will affect the travel industry and boy there is a lot to unpack.
Here are our main takeaways:
Airport security gets a boost
According to the SBS, body scanners and advanced x-ray equipment will be rolled out across both major and regional airports.
A new law has also been proposed allowing federal police officers to conduct identity checks at airports and order people to leave the premises, plus more than 140 counter-terrorism officers are to be deployed at airports with another 50 providing tactical intel and support.
Funding for cruise sector plus solutions for Sydney’s berthing issues
A statement from the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo said the cruise sector contributes $2.7 billion to the Australian economy each year and is growing rapidly.
“This Budget will fund work to identify solutions to the lack of berthing infrastructure in Sydney, Australia’s cruise gateway, ensuring our share of the cruise ship market continues to grow,” said Ciobo.
Boost to regional tourism
The same statement said the government will put $45 million in grants through the Building Better Regions Fund to help move tourists beyond the major cities.
These funds will support projects in regional areas and encourage more visits and expenditure in regional locations, creating more tourism jobs for Australians.
Online booking faces holiday tax
Under existing laws, online booking websites based outside Australia are exempt from marking up hotel prices with the 10 per cent GST.
The New Daily reports the new budget will close this loophole, meaning Australians will have to pay extra to book through websites such as Booking.com, Expedia and Trivago.
“Removing the exemption will level the playing field by ensuring the same tax treatment of Australian hotel accommodation, whether booked through a domestic or offshore company,” said the government.