As no doubt many of you will know, the QHA has been deeply concerned for several years about the prospect of a bed tax being thrust upon the industry.
The idea was floated prior to 2020, on the back of superior and sustained destination funding being required for Queensland’s Tourism industry.
Whilst QHA support our Tourism Industry – and in many places our members ARE the Tourism Industry – we strongly believed a direct tax on hotel rooms was disproportionately placing the cost of attracting tourist on only one part of the sector.
Despite several local Government areas already implementing levies through their rating system to support their destination marketing, there was a concerted push from local governments and some regional tourism organisations for the bed tax concept. Funding proposals were even included in the Towards Tourism 2032 Plan released at the DestinationQ conference on the Gold Coast this month. As a representative of the QHA, I was asked to work directly with the authors of the report and the Department on implementation of the plan, including the issue of future funding.
I am delighted to report that the Minister for Tourism, The Hon Sterling Hinchcliffe clearly stated on the Gold Coast this month that the Queensland Government would not be implementing any new taxes on the Tourism Industry, effectively ruling out a targeted bed tax. This has been the result of many years of work from the QHA and our members constantly staying on this message that it was a retrograde move to punish investors whilst all other parts of the economy that benefit from tourism did not contribute. Thank you to all that took part in this campaign in whatever way, large or small. It is often just a constant drip-feed of conversations to decision makers that make the difference.
This does not mean the issue of funding is solved, nor does it mean that costs to Government levies are off the table. The Minister in fact stressed that industry and Government need to continue discussions on this issue to find a workable and equitable solution in the long term. We at the QHA are committed to representing all of our members to find the best solution for all of Queensland, however we should be relieved that for the moment the spectre of a bed tax appears to be put to rest.
Should you wish to discuss this issue, or any other please feel free to contact me directly.