Main Beach, Byron Bay, during the busy holiday period.
Main Beach, Byron Bay, during the busy holiday period. The Northern Star Archives

Tourists, industry back proposed Byron pseudo-bed tax

TOURISTS at Byron Bay have reacted well to a pseudo "bed tax" proposal by Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson, which asks for donations from the estimated 1.8 million visitors to the shire each year.

Local tourism leaders have also tentatively described the plan to trial a voluntary visitor contribution of $2 per accommodation booking as a "positive" move.

The plan, to be voted on at today's ordinary council meeting, would be first trialled at the council-owned First Sun and Suffolk Park caravan parks this summer, with money to be pooled in a Beautify Byron Fund.

Visiting German tourist Renate Ziegler told The Northern Star she would happily pay the $2 contribution.

"In Germany we are used to paying a tax to visit tourist places," she said.

"As long as it was a one-off fee, and not every day."

HAPPY TO PAY: Tourist Renate Ziegler of Germany, with Byron Bay Visitor Centre accommodation consultant Kaidrick Flinders-Smith, welcomes the Byron Shire Council plan to introduce a $2 visitor donation scheme.
HAPPY TO PAY: Tourist Renate Ziegler of Germany, with Byron Bay Visitor Centre accommodation consultant Kaidrick Flinders-Smith, welcomes the Byron Shire Council plan to introduce a $2 visitor donation scheme. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Byron Bay Visitor Centre manager and VIA Byron board member John Gudgeon yesterday said he had "no problem" with the initiative, as long as it was voluntary and there was transparency with how the funds would be spent.

"It's a positive thing that council is looking at beautifying Byron Bay," Mr Gudgeon said.

"I have no problem with them asking people to make a voluntary contribution towards that, as long as there is no feeling of obligation or pressure and as long as the funds are managed in a way that is open and transparent."

Grant Hawkins, partner at Byron Bay Accomm, which is one of the town's leading booking agents, also described the plan as a "creative and positive initiative".

"I'm not opposed to the idea, and it will be interesting to see how the trial goes," Mr Hawkins said.


This festival is 'not for the sexually conservative'

This festival is 'not for the sexually conservative'

One of the workshops is titled Meditative Spanking For Pleasure

Here come Future Legends

Here come Future Legends

Sign up to be a Future Legend in the surf.

Plan without vision a plan to fail

Plan without vision a plan to fail

Population pressure will impact our future.

Local Partners