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Poms hit Aussie tourism for six while Tourism Minister takes tea.

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Wed, 12th August 2009


Mr Steven Ciobo MP

Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson has less than three months to save Australia’s sagging tourist numbers from

another cruel blow to our most valuable market - Britain.

Shadow Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said a 112 per cent hike in flight taxes by the British Government was

alarming and would hit the Australian market hardest of all.

Mr Ciobo said Mr Ferguson had failed to convince the British Government to stop or mitigate the tax and urged

the Rudd Labor Government to act now to stop what could be a disaster for Australian tourism.

“This is yet another blow for an industry that’s already suffered the perfect storm of the global financial crisis,

swine flu and $1 billion of extra tourism taxes imposed by the Rudd Labor Government - including a 24 per cent

increase in the Passenger Movement Charge,” Mr Ciobo said.

“This tax is bound to make the estimated 35,000 British tourists expected to travel here for next year’s Ashes

think twice.”

Rises in Britain’s Air Passenger Duty to take effect in November would see economy passengers to Australia

slugged with an extra $170, while business class passengers would be hit with an extra $340.

Britain is Australia’s second-largest market, having attracted almost 615,000 tourists in the year to March - down

4.5 per cent on the previous year.

Importantly, Brits are Australia’s most valuable visitors, spending $3.4 billion in the 12 months to March.

“Has Mr Ferguson raised this with the British Government at all? If so, he appears to have failed. The Rudd Labor

Government has until November to intervene and stand up for Australian tourism operators.”