New Zealand To Introduce Tourist Tax
New Zealand has released proposals to levy a charge on international visitors to the South Pacific country to help pay for tourism-related infrastructure.
The tax of between NZD$25 and $35 (USD$17.35-$24.30) would be paid by visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less.
Australian citizens and permanent residents, and most Pacific Island Forum countries will be exempt.
The tax will be collected through visa fees and via the country’s proposed Electronic Travel Authority process for citizens of visa waiver countries.
“Many visitors come to New Zealand to experience our unique and beautiful natural environment. I am sure they will be happy to help protect our special places,” Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said.
“It’s only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy,” New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis added.
The levy will collect between NZD$57 million and $80 million in the first year, depending on the rate that is chosen after a public consultation period. Tax revenue will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity, the government said.
The proposal is subject to legislative process and is likely to be implemented in the second half of 2019.
New Zealand welcomed 3.7 million visitors in 2017, with just over 1.47 million of those from its near neighbour Australia.