25% federal tax hit on regional tourism

22 October 2012

A 25% increase in visa fees is expected to be announced in the Treasurers mini-budget today. The visa fee increase comes on top of a recent 17% tax increase on international visitors.

The latest tax hit includes the “Backpacker” Working Holiday Visa rising by 25% from $280 to $350. Backpackers are critical to WA regional towns as they travel widely across the state and stay a long time in regional areas.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said “this tax hike is a devastating blow to regional tourism towns that rely on backpacker dollars like Margaret River, Coral Bay, Esperance and Broome.”       

“Tourism taxes puts at risk the $27 billion that international backpackers and tourists contribute to the Australian economy” said Mr Hall

“International tourism is extremely competitive and we are being priced out of the market by taxes” said Mr Hall.

This 25% tax increase on visas, follows a 17% increase to the Passenger Movement Charge and $160 million in other charges levied at airports.

“These increases in tourism taxes diminishes WA’s capacity to compete as an international holiday destination and therefore puts the significant economic benefit associated with international tourism at risk” said Mr Hall.

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