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World Travel and Tourism Council: Taxes and travel and tourism are an 'ongoing battle'

7-Aug-2013 3:50 PM

World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) president and CEO David Scowsill, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, outlined (07-Aug-2013) the following strategic priorities:

  • Freedom to travel: This is about ensuring the travellers can move around the world efficiency and quickly. This encompasses efficient visa regimes, air access, liberalisation and the creation of open skies between countries and within regional blocks. He noted Australia has a consumer friendly and automated arrival system (compared to other contries) and that in many cases, too many people still find it too difficult to cross borders as international traveller;
  • Policies for growth: This relates two working with the government to ensure the business environment is conducive to growth in the industry. A key impediment to this is aviation taxes. Mr Scowsill said Australia's passenger movement charge (PMC) is worse only to the UK Air Passenger Tax (APD). He said the PMC, which increased to AUD55 in 2012, adds 3.5% to cost to travel to Australia and its removal would add a 2.5% boost to air travel. This would equate to AUD1.7 billion (USD1.5 billion) and 17,000 jobs. On this, he commented: "Goverments need to stop viewing passenger and tourists as revenue sources and realise they are revenue generator". He also described taxes on travel and tourism as an "ongoing battle;
  • Tourism for tomorrow: He noted that the industry is linked to the world's natural environment and that the aviation sector is committed to neutral growth by 2020.