Survey identifies support for common border with NZ and increased optimism about domestic tourism prospects

Issues & Trends – November 2012

Survey identifies support for common border with NZ and increased optimism about domestic tourism prospects

A RENEWED appetite for streamlining trans-Tasman travel has been revealed by the latest edition of the TTF-MasterCard Tourism Industry Sentiment Survey.

TTF (Tourism and Transport Forum) chief executive John Lee said there is strong support for progress towards a common border.

“More than half of respondents indicated that a single point customs clearance between Australia and New Zealand is very important to reforming passenger processing from New Zealand,” Lee said.

“The same proportion (51 per cent) also rates a trans-Tasman visa for foreigners visiting both countries as a very important reform, while 46 per cent rate additional ‘Smartgates’ as very important.

“TTF believes removing the barriers to travel between Australia and New Zealand would promote trans-Tasman tourism in both directions, supporting growth in the visitor economies of both countries.

“It would make it easier for international visitors to visit both countries – especially important with Australia and New Zealand to co-host the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.”

Lee said the survey also identified a significant surge in concern about taxes and charges on tourists.

“The Passenger Movement Charge went up from $47 to $55 on July 1 and plans for a 28 per cent increase in the cost of working holiday maker visas from $280 to around $360 are concerning the industry, with the proportion of tourism executives ranking taxes and charges among their top three business impediments all but doubling to 32 per cent,” he said.

“These increases are amplified by the consistently strong Australian dollar which remains the number one concern for tourism businesses.

“However, despite these concerns, industry is relatively optimistic about the last quarter of 2012, with expectations about the international market up 16 points to 103, above the baseline rating of 100 for the first time in two and a half years.

“This positivity also extends to the domestic market with industry predicting above average conditions in the fourth quarter.

“Domestic expectations are up 14 points to 111 – their highest level since the survey’s inception in 2008.”


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