The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has renewed its call for the Federal Government to abandon its short-sighted 32.5 per cent backpacker tax following a survey undertaken by Monash University and YHA that shows the government is risking a 60 per cent plummet in the number of working holiday makers coming to Australia.
The quantitative study of 335 international working holiday makers in Cairns, Port Douglas and Melbourne as undertaken by Dr Jeff Jarvis of Monash University between May and June.
The survey also showed that 57 per cent of working holiday makers said they would spend less time travelling in Australia and 69 per cent would spend less on tours.
“If the Federal Government persists with its ill-considered plan to slug every working holiday maker with a 32.5 per cent backpacker tax on every dollar they earn while in Australia this survey shows we will face a 60 per cent exodus to other destinations like New Zealand,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“These results have come straight from the horse’s mouth – working holiday makers have sent a clear message to the Federal Government, “treat us like a cash cow and we are out of here!”.
“Working holiday makers are a boon for the Australian visitor economy. They spend far more than they earn while visiting Australia and many regional and rural economies depend on their spending.
“Australia is in a global competitive market to attract working holiday makers who can choose from the entire world for their holiday. We need to have a tax system that recognises the value of attracting working holiday makers to Australia.
“The message to the Federal Government’s working holiday maker visa review could not be clearer – just scrap the tax and work with the industry to repair the damage that has already been done with working holiday makers already in decline.”