It’s a tax that has been trialled and tested in many European countries. Travellers who visit places like Venice in Italy, Barcelona in Spain and Amsterdam in the Netherlands are hit with a fee to stay in hotels or visit for the day.
And families wanting to visit Queensland could also be affected.
The Queensland government has announced that they are considering two new taxes for visitors to help the state bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The levies would likely be added to nightly accommodation rates or national park entry fees, with individual councils deciding the amount.
A panel of experts were tasked with rebooting Queensland’s tourism sector and the panel believes with millions in new funding, the industry could be worth $44 billion a year to the state’s economy by 2032.
Cairns Tourism Industry Association Kevin Byrne told Nine News that the levies would be five to eight per cent for the first couple of years after they had been introduced.
The report said that local governments should have the authority to choose whether or not they impose a visitor tax and that the revenue should only be used for the development of marketing and tourism.
The report defends the idea: “The idea of a visitor levy is not new. It has been modelled, canvassed and debated for the best part of a decade.
“While we appreciate that views are polarised as to whether it is an appropriate way to raise funding, everyone we spoke with saw a greater need than ever for increased funding during the COVID-19 recovery period.”
If the levies get the green light the revenue would be used to maintain national parks and other protected areas, and to market and develop Queensland tourism.
Queensland’s tourism minister Stirling Hinchcliffe told The Guardian that the government was considering all the recommendations and that the industry will need to be consulted before any final decision is made.