Australians back tourism tax to keep travel ‘sustainable’


The majority of Australians back the introduction of a tourism tax for international visitors into the country, with the funds used to counterbalance the environmental impacts of travel.

The research by InsureandGo revealed almost two-thirds of Australians (60%) support the idea of a tourism tax on overseas visitors, with the residents of NSW leading the way at 63 per cent. South Australia followed with 61 per cent supporting the proposal and Victoria with 59 per cent.

“NSW receives the lion’s share of short-term arrivals each year, while in South Australia, international and domestic visitor expenditure rose an impressive three per cent over the 12 months leading up to September last year,” said Jonathan Etkind, InsureandGo’s chief commercial officer.

“It’s not surprising that residents from those states feel the impact of visitors on their precious natural resources and why they feel moved to protect them.”

The survey also found 63 per cent of Australians supported paying a tourism tax when travelling overseas, while 11 per cent thought the taxes should be raised.

Similar taxes are commonplace across the globe, with Bali being the latest to introduce a tax on visitors.

“Tourist taxes are a relatively new concept but as travel demand swells, we are seeing more countries adopt the levy,” Etkind said.

“For younger Australian travellers, it’s increasingly commonplace, but for Australians aged over 50, it’s a new levy that they seem to be taking time to embrace.”