Tourism industry facing threat of triple tax burden
Australian tourism: Air passengers face triple-whammy of taxes
The tourism industry says air passengers face a triple-whammy of taxes at a time when the sector is struggling.
Industry figures gave evidence in Canberra on Monday to a parliamentary committee looking into a 2012/13 budget decision to hike the passenger movement charge.
Everyone leaving the country will be taxed $55 from July 1 - a rise of 17 per cent. The charge will be indexed to inflation.
But the committee was told passengers would also be indirectly hit by a new levy to fund airport police and the carbon tax to start on July 1 would add $1 to $3 to each travel ticket.
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chief John Lee said international arrival numbers were sluggish and the Australian dollar was putting pressure on the industry.
"With international arrivals to Australia up only 0.5 per cent in the 12 months to the end of April, it's difficult to reconcile a 17 per cent increase," he said.
"The tourism industry is facing the threat of a triple tax burden - a higher PMC (departure tax), an additional cost burden on airports for Australian Federal Police officers and a carbon price."
Mr Lee said competitor nations were removing departure taxes.
"The government doesn't care about tourism," he said.
National Tourism Alliance chief Juliana Payne told the inquiry up to $400 million was being "over-collected" - the difference between revenue collected and the money being spent on tourism and airport services.
The passenger charge hike is expected to raise $610 million over the next four years, $61 million of which will be spent on tourism marketing in Asia.
Tourism Australia has launched a campaign in the Chinese city of Shanghai.
The launch of the broadcast, print and online ads is the latest phase in the campaign dubbed There's nothing like Australia. It began in 2010 and is expected to cost around $180 million over three years.