The boss of accommodation giant Wyndham is urging the Federal Government to unleash a wave of domestic tourism spending through a tax incentive program.
The boss of accommodation giant Wyndham is urging the Federal Government to unleash a wave of domestic tourism spending through a tax incentive program.

‘Give 10k tax incentive to boost travel’

THE boss of Gold Coast-based accommodation giant Wyndham is urging the Federal Government to unleash a wave of domestic tourism spending through a multi-billion dollar tax incentive program.

Barry Robinson, who oversees Wyndham's vast timeshare operation outside of North America, including southeast Asia and Australia, said the tourism industry is in dire need of incentives.

He said Australian households should be offered a $10,000 tax deduction for next financial year for spending on travel, including accommodation and flights.

Mr Robinson said this could give the industry a massive "sugar hit''.

"If we gave them a tax break that they could claim back on allocated receipts for domestic travel, then I think that would definitely stimulate people to at least think about holidaying and more than likely acting upon it - $10,000 to $15,000 would at least get it started,'' he said.

Wyndham Hotel Group president and managing director Barry Robinson.
Wyndham Hotel Group president and managing director Barry Robinson.

"You could have a reasonable break for that amount of money and it could be going towards anything whether it is air travel, accommodation, renting a motor home or car."

Wyndham, like other accommodation providers, has suffered a severe hit to trade during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its Gold Coast properties, which include Wyndham Hotel Surfers Paradise and Club Wyndham Kirra Beach, have remained closed and two-thirds of its 600 employees are on JobKeeper payments.

Mr Robinson said if 10 per cent of Australia's 9.2 million households took up the tax deduction, that would deliver $9.2 billion in extra tourism spending across Australia.

He said the Government might be worried about the hit it would take to its tax take.

"But at the moment with the amount being spent (on stimulus measures), it's probably not really a major worry to spend another $10 billion if that is going to get an economy going,'' he said.

"That creates momentum."

Wyndham's Kirra resort would reopen on July 15, as well as its Port Douglas resort, but only at 50 per cent capacity initially.

An empty Gold Coast Airport. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
An empty Gold Coast Airport. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

Wyndham has eight hotels and resorts in Queensland under the Club Wyndham, Wyndham, Ramada and TRYP brands.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government would not announce a "shopping list of reforms".

"We are in the 'harvesting phase', during which we will look at new and old reform proposals with fresh eyes," he said.

"In sifting through reform options, our focus will be on practical solutions to the most significant challenges which will be front and centre in the post-crisis world, including tax and industrial relations reform as a means of increasing our competitiveness."

Originally published as Coast hotel boss: 'Give 10k tax incentive to boost travel'



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