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Australian tourist companies fight back over tax hikes

Tourist operators within Australia have begun a fight back against the Australian government's plan to increase departure tax by 17%.
14 June 2012
The full page advertisements aim to raise awareness of the increase in taxes as well as the fact that the country's automotive industry received governmental help when it was going through similar difficulties as the tourism industry.

"The [federal] budget had a whole lot of help for the car industry and a whole lot of pain for the tourism industry," said Tourism and Transport Forum Chief Executive John Lee.

The tourism industry has begun to suffer from the benefits of a booming economy, while foreign tourists are still visiting, domestic tourists are only just beginning to return after choosing to go abroad and get more for their money throughout the last year.

Mr Lee said many of Queensland's tourism attractions remained closed in the wake of Cyclone Yasi last year and urged politicians to vote against the new tax, which would raise departure tax from AU$47 (£30) to AU$55 (£35).

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents, Tourism and Transport Forum and Flight Centre are just some of the operators that are partaking in the scheme which has taken out the ads in several of Australia's largest newspapers.

"The travel and tourism industry is united in its opposition to these new taxes and changes, and call on you to block these tax increases and to support Australian tourism," reads the advertisement.

To take advantage of many of Australia's tourist attractions, you'll need an Australian Travel Visa. The most popular of these is the ETA Visa, because it can be easily and quickly applied for online.