New Zealand Plans to Introduce NZ $35 Tourism Tax Late 2019

(Photo by Real Journeys) Photo by Real Journeys

Upon entering New Zealand, visitors will be expected to pay a new "Tourism Tax" starting late 2019, according to Paul Carberry of New Zealand in Depth. The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, of up to NZ $35 (approximately US $24), is estimated to raise up to NZ $80 million a year.

The government is currently suggesting a levy of $25 to $35, raising between $57 and $80 million. Travelers to New Zealand will pay the tax through their visa fees or through the proposed Electronic Travel Authority system.

Tourist numbers in New Zealand grew from 2.6 million in 2012 to 3.7 million in 2017, according to the government’s proposal. It forecasts this number reaching 5.1 million by 2024. This increase has strained infrastructure and the tax will help respond to this. Funds will also go towards protecting native plants and animals. The government has not decided how exactly the money will be split and to what specific projects it would go to.

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The current plan will apply to most travelers, but exclude residents of nearby countries. Tourists, anyone entering through the visa waiver program, family visitors, students and workers with visas for 12 months or less and crew on aircraft and cruise ships will be included.

Australian citizens and residents and permanent residents of most Pacific Island Forum countries will be exempt. Individuals traveling on humanitarian, medical, military, diplomatic, Business Visitor and transit visas would also be exempt from the tax.

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