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PMC – It’s More Than Just The $8 Increase

July 9, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

The recent statement by the Department of Resources Energy and Tourism relative to the impact of the increase to the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) is simply not reflective of the full picture.

“While the industry may well have received benefit from 20% of the additional revenues collected by the $8 increase, in the form of the Asia Marketing Fund (AMF) and the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF); there will now be $3.74 billion collected by the PMC to the end of the 4-year forward estimate period projected in the 2013/14 Federal Budget”, said ATEC HH250x250-3Managing Director, Felicia Mariani.

“Over that same period, the 2013/14 budget projects that the cost of servicing passenger facilitation by Customs and Border Protection will be $901.5 million out to 2016/17.  This creates a surplus of $2.84 billion to consolidated revenue courtesy of the tourism industry.

“While $97 million will be returned to the industry in the form of the AMF and TIRF grants over the next four years, this represents less than 3% of the total funds that will be collected over the four year period.

“While the industry is not foolish enough to think that this charge can be reduced, it would be fair to think that a greater proportion of the surplus could be committed back to the industry that has driven its success.

“ATEC has long called for the need for an R&D Fund to be established to assist the industry in its long-term planning, similar to the funds that exist for other key sectors. The issue of the ABS continuing to reduce the research gathering for the industry into the Survey of Tourism Accommodation and the Expanded Scope Survey covering properties of less than 15 rooms, could be avoided if there was an R&D fund to support the needs of the tourism industry.”

The statement also comments that there has been no impact on the visitor numbers as a result of the $8 increase to PMC, with visitor numbers growing by 5% over the previous period.

“While numbers of arrival have indeed increased, again this is only part of the picture.  Length of stay and regional dispersal are also key factors in measuring our success”, said Ms Mariani.

The increase in numbers has largely been a ‘substitution effect’ with the growth switching from traditional markets of the West to the new and emerging markets of the East.

“With this transition, we have seen a decline in dispersal and, consequently, many of our tourism enterprises in regional and remote parts of Australia have struggled over the past several years as Eastern markets are less inclined to travel afar beyond the capital cities and major population centres.

“It is vital that the importance of regional dispersal is recognised as a key factor in measuring our success and pure numbers are simply not reflective of the real picture being experienced by our operators on the ground across this vast country.”

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