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New Zealand Government announces tourism tax details

New Zealand Government announces tourism tax details
June 15, 2018

The New Zealand Government has announced details of its planned tourism tax, with international visitors to pay between $25 and $35 from late next year.

Prompted by onging concern about the environmental and infrastructure pressures put on the country by its booming tourism industry, introduction of a tourism tax was part of the manifesto of the current New Zealand Government during last year’s election.

International tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million people have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in the year to April.

New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis explained “this rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure.

”Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to carparks.”

New Zealand Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage added “it’s only fair that (visitor) ake a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy.”

The tax is expected to raise up to $80 million in the first year, with the money to be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation funding.

It will be collected through a newly proposed electronic travel registration process.

The move has been welcomed by Local Government New Zealand who advised that it is “a significant and principled step forward” from the present position where ratepayers solely fund both the capital and operational costs of tourism mixed-use infrastructure and facilities.

LGNZ Chief Executive Malcolm Alexander stated “LGNZ has for many years been advocating for a greater contribution from tourists to the ongoing costs of mixed-use infrastructure, particularly in areas such as Queenstown, Central Otago and the West Coast where there are very high number of visitors compared to the number of ratepayers,”

“The debate now needs to move to how that money should be collected and allocated.”

“The preference is for a local tourist accommodation levy, commonly used around the world. Such an approach would allow councils to decide whether they wished to continue subsidising tourist infrastructure or meet part of the costs through a levy.”

“This would introduce a competitive aspect to location taxation that would drive performance improvements and incentivise a community to enhance the local value offering for tourists to tempt them to stay in a region. This approach would break the cycle of benefits being captured entirely by central government but local communities bearing the costs.”

Tourism Industry Aotearoa emphasised that ensuring the extra tax revenue to be collected from some international visitors is spent wisely will be the focus of the tourism industry

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts advised “no final decisions have been made on the split between conservation and tourism, what sort of projects should be funded, or how the decisions should be made. The tourism industry is ready to participate in a robust and constructive discussion on these crucial details.

“Our international visitors will be more accepting of being charged to come to New Zealand if they can clearly see it is going to support infrastructure and services that enhance their visit.”

Australian citizens and permanent residents (the biggest group of visitors to New Zealand, making up 39%, or nearly 1.5 million annual visits), people from Pacific Islands Forum countries and children under two will be exempt.

Images: New Zealand's tourism boom is putting pressure on infrastructure in Aucklland (top) and the Otago Rail Trail (below). 

1st June 2018 - TOURISM INDUSTRY KEEN TO DISCUSS NEW ZEALAND’S PLANNED VISITOR TAX

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18th May 2018 - NEW ZEALAND BUDGET PROVIDES $100 MILLION FOR AMERICA’S CUP, CUTS TOURISM NZ FUNDING

12th May 2018 - NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT LOOKS TO INTRODUCE LEVY ON INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

10th May 2018 - PREDICTED TOURISM BOOM COULD PUSH NEW ZEALAND’S INFRASTRUCTURE TO BREAKING POINT 

20th February 2018 - REGIONAL TOURISM NEW ZEALAND CALLS FOR COUNCILS TO BACK TOURISM 

4th December 2017 - REGIONAL TOURISM CALLS FOR NATIONAL DEBATE ON PLANNED TOURISM TAX

6th September 2017 - TOURISM TAX ON THE AGENDA IN NEW ZEALAND ELECTION 

21st August 2017 - INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO NEW ZEALAND SPEND $10.3 BILLION IN YEAR TO JUNE 2017

13th June 2017 - NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT COMMITS $5.2 MILLION FOR 28 NEW TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS 

26th May 2017 - BUDGET A DISAPPOINTMENT FOR NEW ZEALAND RECREATION INDUSTRY 

12th May 2017 - DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION TO RAISE CHARGES FOR OVERSEAS VISITORS WALKING NEW ZEALAND’S TRAILS 

19th January 2017 - STRESSES SHOW AS NEW ZEALAND TOURISM THRIVES 

9th December 2016 - NZRA SUPPORTS PROPOSED NATIONAL TOURISM LEVY

26th May 2016 - NEW ZEALAND BUDGET BACKS ELITE SPORT AND TOURISM, CUTS FUNDS FOR CONSERVATION AND RECREATION 

11th October 2013 - LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEW ZEALAND WELCOMES PLAN FOR NEW ZEALAND TOURISM


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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