Queensland's tourism board warns against bed tax

RUMBLINGS that tourism hotspots could charge visitors for hiring beach equipment and using public toilets have earned a gentle warning from Queensland's tourism board - think carefully before you tax the golden goose.

The Gold Coast's council has raised the prospect of having tourists pay, including through higher parking prices, to help fund infrastructure.

Although occasionally contemplated, such a move is unlikely to gain traction.

Even so, it is an idea that could be an option for other regional areas that are key destinations for travellers.

In 2013, Queensland drew more than 2 million visitors from overseas and 5.36 million visitors from other states.

With a value of $23 billion, tourism is Queensland's biggest export earner behind coal.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief Daniel Gschwind said while asking tourism businesses to pay a levy to help support the sector made sense, he urged caution if towns wanted to extract cash from the visitors themselves.

"I think we want to be very careful and considerate when introducing a toll at every turn," he said.

"We want to make sure everybody can enjoy their holiday and not be reminded about the cost every five minutes.

"It has to work for the visitors and it has to work for the businesses who may be caught up in this."


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