Les Mills Asia Pacific Les Mills Asia Pacific (LMAP) have been setting the benchmark for providing professional fitness solutions across Australia and South East Asia since 1996. Our world renowned…read more
Tourist levy proposed to help protect Queenstown community wellbeing
Known as New Zealand’s ‘adventure capital’ and attracting 3.3 million visitors each year, officials in Queenstown are proposing the introduction of a $7.50 per visitor charge to fund infrastructure to help cope with its large numbers of tourists.
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult says the pressure that high levels of tourism place on the town’s infrastructure “threatens to undermine the wellbeing of our communities”.
To protect this wellbeing, Mayor Boult plans to introduce a visitor levy, which he says will be directed towards desperately needed infrastructure to ease the burden on the District’s 24,000 ratepayers.
Queenstown residents are pushing ahead with a plan to charge international tourists for the privilege of visiting the area with Mayor Boult intending to hold an urgent, non-binding referendum on the charge, as tensions between locals and visitors increase.
Councillors have unanimously passed the plan for a non-binding referendum on the proposed visitor tax.
Queenstown is situated in the picturesque Southern Alps region of New Zealand’s South Island. No other city or district in New Zealand experiences a ratio of 34 international visitors per resident. Auckland has a ratio of one to one and Christchurch three to one.
Queenstown attracts large numbers of tourists due to its combination of natural beauty and adventure sports including skiing, bungee jumping and white water rafting.
However house prices and rentals are among the most expensive in the country, pricing out local families and workers, and infrastructure such as roads and public amenities are overwhelmed, with environmental ecosystems threatened.
As reported by The Guardian, Mayor Boult stated "the reality is we have around six million bed nights in the town a year, over three million individual visitors, 24,000 ratepayers - the model simply doesn't work, we cannot keep up the quality of infrastructure that we need to."
Mayor Boult suggested that the New Zealand tourism industry would suffer if Queenstown couldn't keep up.
The levy could generate roughly NZ$40 million for the council, Boult said, based on a charge of NZ$7.50 per visitor, per night, to be introduced by 2021 dependent on public backing.
The referendum is expected to cost $70,000.
If passed, it wouldn't the first visitor levy in New Zealand as Stewart Island has had one in place since 2013.
However it could also set a precedent for more regions to consider implementing a similar tax.
The plan echoes moves by the New Zealand Government to introduce a levy for the record-high visitor tourist numbers, with a charge of between $25 and $35 to be introduced to all international tourists by the end of 2019.
New Zealand Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said Queenstown had unique and “urgent” needs.
He advised “if a referendum shows there is clear support for a local visitor levy, the Government will consider any necessary legislation.”
Image of AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping, one of the adventure attractions offered in Queenstown
4th March 2019 - International adventure tourism experts to converge on Queenstown
1st March 2019 - Skyline Queenstown gets approval for $100 million plus redevelopment
2nd January 2019 - iFly Queenstown enjoying successful first summer of operations
19th December 2018 - Jet boating pioneers celebrate 60 years of Queenstown adventure thrills
15th November 2018 - Global Eco conference to highlight tourism supporting conservation
3rd October 2018 - Overtourism leads to indefinite closure of iconic Thai bay
2nd July 2018 - Tourism businesses support new border tax
15th June 2018 - New Zealand Government announces tourism tax details
12th January 2018 - Company behind Queenstown skydiving accident ceases trading
9th December 2016 - NZRA supports proposed National Tourism Levy
17th December 2009 - New adventure tourism activity zips to Queenstown
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.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…read more
INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…read more
Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…read more
Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…read more
Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!