Australia’s tourism industry is disappointed at today’s announcement by the Turnbull Government to raise the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) by five dollars, hitting international visitors and travelling Australians with a $60 exit tax from July next year.
“While we welcome some of the announcements made today by Treasurer, Scott Morrison, we are disappointed the PMC has been raided – a move which will ultimately have a detrimental affect on our marketability as an international destination,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.
“Some other announcements by the Treasurer, including a reduction in the fee for youth and backpacker visas, and other positive moves to support this market including additional marketing funding for Tourism Australia are positive policy moves the industry has been calling for.
“ATEC has been a strong advocate against the Government’s plans to introduce an excessive 32.5 per cent tax on backpackers from the first dollar earned, so we are pleased to see the more measured approach announced today.
“However, in reality this is merely a ‘half win’ for our industry, leaving us bewildered about the Government’s on-going commitment to our growing sector.
“Any new policy that affects tourism, one of Australia’s strongest exports, needs to have a growth strategy which includes a new approach to engaging the international backpacker market.
“As a $38 billion export industry we need to get the policy settings right and build positive engagement with Australia from the international market, rather than taking short sighted decisions which threaten permanent damage to our success.”