The Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) said the decision by the Federal Government to reduce the proposed 32.5 per cent backpacker tax to 19 per cent is a step in the right direction for regional tourism.
“As regional and remote businesses are challenged in attracting a seasonal casual labour force, the backpacker market provides an answer that many regional tourism operators and farmers look to. On average a backpacker earns between $9k and $13k which is spent within region, their value, both economic and social should never be under estimated.” said, David Sheldon, Chair of the ARTN.
“In reviewing today’s release of the backpacker tax package it does contain some additional positives for the industry with the extension of the age limit for working holiday makers from 30 to 35, an ARTN initiative, and the reduction of the cost of working holiday visa by $50 to $390.” He said.
Another outcome that we hope our working holiday makers will enjoy, is the opportunity for backpackers to continue to work for the same employer for 12 months as long as the second 6 months is worked in different locations allowing them to continue to travel and work in regional areas across Australia providing the seasonal workforce for farmers and many tourism businesses.
“While many will be upset about the increase in the passenger movement charge (PMC), I believe the tourism industry should be proud that through much lobbying we have not seen an increase in the PMC since 2012.”
A huge benefit in today’s announcement is Tourism Australia will receive a further a $10 million to support a global youth targeted advertising campaign.
ARTN congratulates the Tourism Industry Associations and our rural counterparts such as, The National Farmers Federation on working together to gain a favourable response from the government.