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New Zealand believes it’s time for visitors to pay their dues. By 2019, New Zealand’s government plans to impose an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism tax.
The small nation of fewer than 4.7 million people has seen nearly 3.8 million tourists from the beginning of the year through April, which has contributed $14.7 billion to New Zealand’s GDP, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. New Zealand’s government expects the number of annual tourists will grow to 5.1 million by 2024.
The tax of $25 to $35 NZD (around $17 to $24 USD) would generate up to $80 million in the first year and is intended to sustain tourism infrastructure and conservation.
“This Levy will ensure our international visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural places they come here to enjoy,” said Kelvin Davis, New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism.
The government is also proposing requiring an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and expects that visitors will pay the tourism tax when applying for an ETA or visa. Davis hopes the money will benefit heavily traveled places like Franz Josef and Tekapo.
Policy decisions are anticipated to happen in September and after legislation, Davis believes the tax will be in place by the second half of 2019.
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