With a few exceptions, all international visitors to New Zealand will be expected to pay more to enter the country.
New Zealand is planning to slap almost all visitors to the country with a tax of NZ$35 (€20) per person from the second half of 2019.
It has yet to go through a legislative approval process, but the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy is expected to provide additional funds for tourist destinations.
It is designed “to ensure international visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy”, according to an announcement made on the website of the country’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
All international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged with the tax levy – except for Australian citizens and permanent residents as well as people from the countries of the Pacific islands such as Tonga and Samoa.
The levy will be collected through visa fees and, for citizens of visa-waiver countries, via the proposed Electronic Travel Authority process, TTG Asia reports.
Around NZ$80 million is expected to be collected in the first year of the levy’s implementation. This will be split 50:50 between tourism infrastructure and conservation activities.
The government is said to currently be working with conservation, local government and tourism industry companies and associations to see how best to spend the revenues.