ATEC: Federal government intends to continue treating tourists as cash cows


ATEC managing director Matthew Hingerty said raising the departure tax and increasing visa-processing fees illustrated the government’s intention to “milk” the industry.

“At a time when the tourism industry is struggling to cope with a high Australian dollar and rising business costs such as fuel, food and labour, this has made our job of opening up new export markets for Australia much harder,” Mr Hingerty said.

“Tourism already pulls its weight when it comes to contributing to the country’s tax base, and our thanks is to continually cop more hits.”

The Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) welcomed continued funding for the tourism sector, but said additional charges sent a mixed message.

“We are concerned that more money will be going straight out of the pockets of tourists and into the coffers of Treasury,” TTF managing director Christopher Brown said.