The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) welcomes last night’s Federal Budget handed down by the Federal Treasurer the Hon. Scott Morrison because the travel and tourism industry has been saved from any new taxes for a change.
The important aspects for the outbound travel industry is that middle income earners will be getting around a $520 per year bonus, which may assist with the continued growth in outbound travel and will definitely help families pay for the $60 a head Passenger Movement Change. This tax cut amounts to $13.4 billion being placed back into the hands of hardworking Australians who may choose to spend some of this on travel.
Further, it is extremely pleasing for the Australian Economy that the government has foreshadowed that the budget will return to surplus in 2020-2021 and may in fact get there sooner. This means the Government will be seriously back in business and may allow for further tax savings for all Australians – we shall see.
“It is very pleasing that the commitment to freeze the Passenger Movement Charge has been upheld and in addition there has been no new taxes cooked up for the travel and tourism industry,” said Jayson Westbury AFTA Chief Executive.
“Tax cuts for working Australians will always put a smile on the faces of many Australians and with more money in their pockets, it is reasonable to expect that some of that will be spent taking a holiday,” said Westbury.
“This is good news for the travel industry and we will need to wait and see if these cuts convert into a positive uplift in the outbound travel numbers over the years ahead,” said Westbury.
“I am sure the tourism industry will be very pleased with the $5.1million that has been placed back into the cookie jar at Tourism Australia. It’s better to be putting more cookies in the jar than the traditional approach by this Government to take the cookies out of the jar,” Westbury added.
Another welcomed measure is the application of GST ruling that will apply to off-shore online hotel booking platforms who with the agreement of the States and Territories will be required to apply the same calculation of GST as occurs for Australian OTA’s. This has been a long standing ridiculous loophole and it is about time that this rule applied.
“There are a number of incoherent Government arrangements that apply to online off-shore companies including the price parity allowable application and this change to the GST application means that we commence to move to a level playing field for Australian travel agents who sell online,” Westbury said.
“It is nice for a change to read a set of budget papers and not cringe at every page, but in fact feel more confident about the future of outbound travel in Australia,” Westbury concluded.