Carbon tax could hit tourism industry

The controversial carbon tax may impact tourism revenue, with the hospitality industry expecting to have to increase hotel and motel room rates in order to compensate for energy price hikes.

"Although it is up to individual operators to determine their own rates, we are likely to see increases in room rates as a result of the carbon tax because the costs to accommodation operators to run their businesses will increase. This is particularly due to hikes in the cost of electricity prices," Accommodation Association of Australia chief executive Richard Munro told Hospitality Magazine yesterday (July 2).

"Suppliers to the accommodation industry, of which there are many, may also pass on their increased costs, which the Association estimates to be up to three per cent higher following the introduction of the carbon tax."

Mr Munro went on to point that the tourism industry in Australia had spent many years working towards clean energy options, through initiatives such as air conditioning controls, recycling and low‐voltage lights.

He expressed concern that the carbon tax will become a disincentive for overseas visitors considering traveling and holidaying in Australia.

Reaction to the carbon tax has not been entirely negative however. Almost 300 Australian businesses have signed a joint statement backing the legislation.

Westpac, AGL, Unilever and GE were amongst those who voiced their support for the tax, saying that it was a necessary move towards creating a clean economy.

Posted by Charlie Moore