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Queensland holidaymakers could be slugged with new tourist levy

Those travelling to Queensland could soon have to pay a new tourist levy as the state looks into ways to help the tourism industry recover from the pandemic.

A panel of experts are recommending local councils introduce a new tax which would contribute to the maintenance of state tourist attractions and national parks 

The levy would also be added to nightly accommodation bills and individual councils would be in charge of determining the fees.

"We don't just want to build back to where we were, we want to see the industry grow," Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said.

"We have very different destinations, that have very different needs.”

Kevin Byrne from the Cairns Tourism Industry Association said, "I think an accommodation levy, a visitor levy of five to eight per cent in the first couple of years, would be appropriate.”

With millions in new funding, members of the panel believe the industry could be worth around $44 billion a year to the state's economy by 2032. 

John O'Shea from The Langham Gold Coast said the opening of the new Langham hotel has been put on hold for years but believes the hotel is well positioned to catch up financially.

"We've had a lot of challenges, a pandemic, a war, supply chain issues," he said.

Domestic tourism is finally back to pre-pandemic levels however international tourism is still down by 60 per cent.



Irit Jackson, 27th June 2022