A departure tax increase for Kiwi travellers has been rejected by the Australian tourism industry and described as unfair to our biggest travel market.
Announced this month in the yearly budget and effective from 1 July this year, the Australian Government said it would increase the departure tax on New Zealanders visiting Australia from $47 to $55 per person.
Local industry voice, Tourism and Transport Forum chief executive John Lee said the increase was unjustifiable and would disproportionately impact tourism from our nearest neighbour, New Zealand.
With up to 1.2 million Kiwis travelling into Australia annually, Mr Lee said a family of four travelling from NZ would be expected to pay up to $280 just to return home, a cost he said will have a negative impact on tourism across the Tasman.
While we have long-standing rivalries in many areas, in this case we should be working together to grow the tourism industries on both sides of the Tasman instead of punishing the Kiwis who travel to Australia every year, he explained.
Indeed TTF, in partnership with New Zealands Tourism Industry Association, has been pushing for
streamlined border processing between Australia and New Zealand, with Anzac Express Paths at both ends and mates rates to halve the PMC for Kiwis, with a common border as the ideal outcome.
We dont believe visitors to Australia should prop up government revenues when they already make a massive contribution to the Australian economy, spending billions of dollars every year and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across Australia.
The TTF is not the only Group determined to have the increased tax turned over, with New Zealands industry leaders urging the countrys Prime Minister to lobby against the rise.
Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) spokesperson said yesterday the Group had lobbied to the countrys leader to discuss the tax with his Australian counterpart.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J