Australia’s Booming International Visitor Market Another Reason to Back Visitor Economy in Federal Budget
Another month of strong results for Australia’s international visitor market is further evidence why the upcoming Federal Budget should increase the investment in Australia’s booming visitor economy said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
The latest ABS Overseas Arrivals figures released today confirm that 7.6 million people travelled to Australia over the past 12 months – up 9 per cent on the previous year.
“You cannot make a better case than this that Australia’s visitor economy is one of the key industries to back with a strong investment plan in the upcoming Federal Budget,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Imagine what we could achieve if we had a national economic strategy that invested more money in marketing Australia to the world as one of the must see destinations for overseas travellers. Tourism Australia does a fantastic job showcasing our nation overseas but its budget has been progressively been undermined by failing to keep up with inflation and the need to invest in better visa and visitor experiences is clear.
“We should be reducing the cost of travel to Australia – already a long-haul destination – for our key tourist markets. That means addressing the imbalance of charging a Chinese visitor $135 for a tourist visa while charging other nationalities as low as zero for a tourist visa.
“The Federal Government should abandon its plan to introduce a 32.5 per cent backpacker tax on what is an important market for regional and rural tourism operators. We should be encouraging more working holiday makers to come to Australia, not drive them off to other countries with a cash grab initiative.
“Scrapping or reducing the burden of these taxes and charges while making sound investments in promoting Australia as a destination of choice overseas is the right approach to turbocharging the great results our visitor economy has been delivering.”