A PROPOSAL under which holidaymakers would receive a tax deduction for staying in Australia is worth considering, according to Shipwreck Coast Marketing chief executive Carole Reid.
Ms Reid said the reality that outbound travel had outstripped inbound travel needed to be accepted.
Ms Reid’s comments come after a Whitsundays Tourism industry proposal to the federal government for an annual tax deduction for taxpayers on domestic travel worth $2000.
The proposal is similar to the $1500 school expenses tax deduction and qualifying expenses would be up to $2000 on any accommodation spent in Australia, including motels, hotels, campgrounds, charter boats, backpacker resorts and camper vans.
Ms Reid said the tourism industry needed to have a good understanding of consumer behaviour and provide packages and proposals to respond to consumer behaviour.
“Any initiatives that respond to consumer behaviour should be considered,” she said.
“At the same time we need to put forward packages which motivate individuals and are priced accordingly.
“There was a 30 per cent growth in people travelling overseas which was price driven by low-cost airfares,”she said.
“Any proposition needs to be looked at.
“As well as the greater impact.”
Ms Reid said the south-west region was being promoted to Ballarat, Bendigo and Melbourne through a campaign on radio and online.
“It’s offering incentives to travel to the region,” she said.
“It’s had good responses.”
President of the Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association, Trevor Rees, who was one of the first to come up with the idea, said he believed the proposal could be more than revenue neutral.
Mr Rees said the proposal was a way of benefiting all Australia, instead of giving handouts to particular sectors and regions.
“This is not some parochial thing where we’re sitting here in the Whitsundays asking for more money,” he said.
“This would benefit all of Australia.
“It would benefit the mum, dad and kids who holiday to the caravan park twice a year.
“It’s not just for the rich.”