Two thirds of Australians support introduction of tourism tax, survey reveals

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Edited by Travel Weekly

    Just weeks after Bali introduced a new tourism tax, a new survey from InsureandGo has revealed that almost two-thirds of Aussies support countries introducing the tax to combat the rising environmental toll of tourism. 

    The survey, which follows a growing number of nations implementing taxes to fund cultural and environmental protection, also reveals that 60 per cent of respondents want Australia to introduce its own tourism tax, with 63 per cent of NSW residents particularly supporting the levy.

    The findings were taken from a survey of an independent panel of 1006 Australians commissioned by InsureandGo, which sought to gauge how residents feel about rising tourism taxes – particularly amid increased sustainability concerns.

    The research also found that younger Australians, aged between 18 and 30, are the most eco-conscious travellers, with a whopping 73 per cent saying yes to tourism taxes.

    Bali implemented a tax recently in February, with all arrivals now required to pay $15 (150,000 IDR) before arrival. The popular Indonesian beach destination joins a growing cohort of countries imposing the tax, including Amsterdam in the Netherlands which has the highest tourism tax across the continent – with the former 7 per cent hotel tourist levy rising to 12.5 per cent this year.

    InsureandGo found that more than half of Aussies were happy to pay the tourist taxes at the current rates, however a smaller 11 per cent of all respondents said they would gladly pay higher levies.

    Older Australians least in favour of a tourist levy

    While the survey shows the nation’s youngest cohort largely support the tourist tax, just over half of respondents aged 50 and over are happy to pay levies at the current rate or more. Millennials and Gen Z respondents aged between 31 and 50 are more enthusiastic with 67 per cent saying they would pay a tariff.

    InsureandGo chief commercial officer Jonathan Etkind says younger Aussies are typically more aware of the environmental impacts of travel, while older Australians are perhaps less accustomed to the tax.

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

    “What’s heartening, however, is that only a minority of 37 per cent of respondents don’t support tourism taxes, demonstrating just how many Australians support the concept of sustainable travel.”

    Aussies from visitor hot spots most in favour of tourist tax at home and abroad

    While 6 out of 10 respondents say yes to an Australian tourism levy, residents from NSW and South Australia were among the highest at 63 per cent and 61 per cent respectively. 

    Respondents from NSW were the most in favour of paying a tourist tax abroad, with a whopping 66 per cent supporting overseas levies at the current or an even higher rate.

    In other states, Queenslanders and South Australians are tied for second place, with 62 per cent in favour of the taxes. Following closely behind are Western Australians, with 61 per cent and Victorians, with 60 per cent in favour. 

     “NSW receives the lion’s share of short-term arrivals each year,  while in South Australia, international and domestic visitor expenditure rose an impressive 3 per cent over the 12 months leading up to September last year,” Etkind continued. 

    “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.”

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