AUSTRALIA: Passenger Movement Charge goes up by AU$ 10
The Passenger Movement Charge, or PMC is charged to all travellers leaving Australia. Passengers currently pay AU$60 to leave Australia. That will rise to AU$70 from July 2024, representing a 16% increase. With air travel from Australia booming, this is expected to raise AU$1.3 billion in income.
Way back in 1978, as a way of funding border policing, the Departure Tax, at AU$10 was Introduced, changing to the PMC in 1995. Most people wouldn’t even be aware of the charge. It’s added to the cost of the airline ticket when you buy it. Unless you forensically examine all the taxes and charges on your airline ticket or invoice, you probably don’t even know you are paying it.
Tourism industry in uproar
The Australian newspaper quotes Margy Osmond from the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) calling the charge a ‘tourism tax’ that will kneecap the post-pandemic return of inbound tourism.
Now, there is a point to be made here.
Although Australians can’t get enough of international travel, and are willing to pay the huge increase in airfares after a couple of years of being stuck at home, the same is not true for inbound tourism. People from overseas traveling to Australia have not returned as quickly as hoped. The negative effect of COVID-19 on inbound tourism is going to take time and some smart tourism campaigns to recover.
The TTF must have had some suspicion the tax was going to be increased, as a couple of days before the budget, they called for it to be frozen for five years while inbound tourism recovers.
The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) spokesperson, Dean Long is even pulling out the anti-families defense saying it will ‘make it harder for Australian families to stay connected.’
While sympathising with the inbound tourism industry’s concerns, I doubt that anyone will be saying ‘We are not going to Australia because they just increased the cost of leaving the country by 10 dollars’. Nor is an Australian who can afford any kind of international airfare going to cancel their flight to Bali over AU$10!