Accommodation sector supports new tourism initiatives
22/06/2012 - Operators of accommodation businesses - particularly those in regional parts of Australia - are supportive of a series of initiatives to assist the industry.
The initiatives are the establishment of a new Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund; the proposed annual indexation of the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) will not proceed; confirmation that the NT, Broome, Kangaroo Island, Far North Queensland and the Whitsundays will be able to trial seasonal labour from Pacific countries and East Timor from next month; and the proposed increase in the Managed Investment Trust (MIT) withholding tax from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent will not proceed.
"The Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund represents a significant opportunity for Australia's accommodation industry," the chief executive officer of the Accommodation Association of Australia, Richard Munro, asserted.
"Since the release of Tourism Australia's 2020 Tourism Industry Potential two years ago, there has been a push to lift the quality of tourism accommodation in regional Australia.
"The fact that successful applicants will have access to money from the fund for extensions and refurbishments of tourism accommodation is a solid step forward for our industry, particularly for smaller motels in regional parts of Australia.
"This is complemented by the MIT withholding tax remaining at its current level.
"These are two compelling reasons for there to be higher levels of investment in Australia's tourism accommodation product."
Munro said while the accommodation industry remains opposed to any increases in the PMC, a fixed charge is preferable.
"The PMC has and always will be a 'tax on tourism', but the industry is encouraged by the strong possibility that it will not rise every year, as a result of the decision not to proceed with annual indexation of the PMC," he said.
"On the seasonal labour trial, this is recognition of the difficulties accommodation businesses have recruiting and retaining staff in the areas where the trial will take place.
"The accommodation association is actively encouraging members in these regions to utilise the potential relief that the trial will bring."
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