THE UN head of tourism says the carbon tax should be used to make travel more efficient, not price tourists out of the market.
UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary general Taleb Rifai said revenue from the tax on aviation should be invested in harnessing and promoting green travel.
The recently introduced carbon tax is imposed on domestic aviation in Australia. The airlines are charged $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide they emit and this is passed on to passengers.
Qantas has indicated the tax will add an average $3.50 to domestic fares.
Mr Rifai acknowledges the delicate relationship between the environment and tourism, which is a substantial contributor to carbon pollution, but says taxes must be balanced.
“Taxes that simply are meant to make people travel less and discourage people from travelling are defeating the point,” Mr Rifai told AAP today.
“It’s not a realistic goal to say we want to impose more taxes on the environment so that people will travel less.