The bold new plan to make people pay to visit national parks and our most popular attractions as state considers a tourist tax for Aussies
- Queensland government considering charging visitors a levy to main attractions
- Councils to determine if visitors should be charged for places like national parks
- The money would go towards maintenance and managing the natural sites
Travellers may soon have to pay if they want to visit some of Queensland‘s most popular attractions.
Under a new plan, put forward by the Queensland Tourism Industry Reference Panel, tourists and locals would have to pay a levy or a visitor’s tax for places such as national parks.
It’s one of 75 recommendations that hopes ‘to position Queensland as Australia’s destination of choice’ in the tourism sector by the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
‘We can’t expect the state government to do all the heavy lifting as we grow the visitor economy,’ the report said.
‘If we give destinations, or local governments, the option to apply a focused tourism enhancement levy, they can raise money to support and grow the visitor economy.’
Under a new plan, put forward by the Queensland Tourism Industry Reference Panel, tourists and locals would have to pay a levy or a visitor’s tax for places such as national parks (pictured Springbrook National Park, Gold Coast)
The plan has been put forward to help ‘position Queensland as Australia’s destination of choice’ in the tourism sector by the 2032 Brisbane Olympics (pictured in the Gold Coast)
‘User pays’ fees were also brought up, with 100 per cent of the money going towards management and maintenance of natural sites.
The report said it would be up to the specific local councils to introduce the levies.
Queensland’s Tourism, Innovation and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said $66million had been put aside to help boost the tourism industry over the next three years.
‘Some of the recommendations are ambitious and will need further consideration and consultation with the tourism industry,’ he said.
‘It sets ambitious goals because Queensland needs to be bold to achieve long-term success, or risk being left behind.’
Levies for tourists exist in places around the world and are already commonplace in other Aussie states.
The Great Barrier Reef has a levy for visitors.
The move could mean Queenslanders will be charged for heading out for a walk through their local national park.
Levies for tourists exist in places around the world and in other Aussie states such as in the Great Barrier Reef
Robbie Bastion, a Cairns-based industry veteran said he supported the idea to introduce a levy for tourist attractions.
‘A Tourism Levy is not a mythical beast … the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, the Surf Coast in Victoria and Broome all have a levy to subsidise their tourism efforts,’ he said.
‘It doesn’t only enhance their efforts in a financial way, it liberates their thinking, their innovation by utilising their community’s money for the benefit of all.’