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Gold Coast Bed Tax Would “Damage Wider Economy” – Tourism Accommodation Australia

March 3, 2014 Association No Comments Email Email

The proposed bed tax on the Gold Coast would not only damage the hotel and tourism sectors, it would have a major negative impact on the wider economy, says Tourism Accommodation Australia.

Commenting on Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate’s request to the State Government seeking special legislation to introduce a new bed tax on the Gold Coast, TAA Managing Director Rodger Powell said that bed taxes had been introduced and then withdrawn in other cities because of the demonstrable negative effects the tax had on the city or region.

“The proposal would be economically reckless because the tax would not only dissuade international visitors from coming to Australia, it would give domestic travellers yet another reason for travelling overseas,” said Mr Powell.

“The Gold Coast economy revolves around tourism and this tax would affect all the industries that provide services to the sector. It would cost jobs, and in the end, the tax would cause far greater losses in revenue than the money it would raise for Council.

“Bed taxes are both inefficient and inequitable. Targeting the accommodation sector might seem an easy option, but accommodation represents only 40% of total spend by travellers, so taxing accommodation operators misses the majority of the market and hits an industry that has struggled over the past five years.

“There is always talk of the need to encourage new hotel development and to invest in upgrading existing stock, but that is not going to happen when there are prospects of increased costs. If a bed tax was to be introduced, operators would need to pass it on to guests, who would then vote with their feet and either travel elsewhere or stay for a shorter time. That will impact the whole economy.

“The Gold Coast has spent a fortune marketing itself as the country’s premier ‘fun’ holiday destination, but the prospect of a bed tax is distinctly unfunny and should be resisted by the State Government, which has generally been very pro-tourism.”

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