THREE of Australia’s peak travel industry bodies have implored the Federal Government not to increase the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) in next week’s federal budget.
In a letter penned to the Prime Minister, the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and the Australian Airports Association (AAA) have requested a five-year freeze of the current PMC rate to protect Australia’s tourism sector.
The three groups have warned that an increase of the PMC from the current rate of $60 per passenger, for Australians and visitors leaving the country, will discourage tourism as it tries to rebuild from the pandemic.
“The reality is an increased PMC means more expensive airfares and overseas holidays for Australians already struggling with cost-of-living pressures,” AFTA CEO Dean Long said.
“The PMC is the second highest travel and tourism tax in the world and covers the costs of the world leading border processes and biosecurity program.”
AAA CEO James Goodwin echoed a similar sentiment, saying, “we need the government to prioritise supporting our industry’s recovery and not tax it even more”, while TTF CEO Margy Osmond condemned the PMC increase as “a major setback”.
The PMC, which has risen 500% since it was first implemented at $10 in 1978, is added to departing travellers’ airfares, to help fund international passenger processing at Australia’s borders.