The cost for travellers entering New Zealand is about to get steeper as plans to introduce a tourist tax are set to go ahead from October 2019. And now New Zealand officials have revealed the reasoning behind the hike.
Last September, the government announced its plans to tax visitors entering the country and introduced its International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL). Visitors will pay a fee of NZD$35 (AU$33) when they apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
Every international visitor — excluding those from some South Pacific islands and Australia — planning to stay 12 months or less will be required to pay. And officials have confirmed it’s all to combat damage caused by over-tourism
It’s reported that the tax will raise an estimated NZD$450 million over the next five years, which will contribute to tourism infrastructure.
“Projects funded by the IVL will contribute to the long-term sustainability of tourism here, by protecting and enhancing our natural environment, upholding New Zealand’s reputation as a world class experience and addressing the way vital tourism infrastructure is funded,” New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism, Kelvin Davis, said, according to The Points Guy.
In fact, according to Stats NZ, over the past 20 years the country’s total number of overseas visitors has more than doubled, growing from 1.50 million in 1999 to reach 3.88 million in 2019.
“For many years in New Zealand, we had levels of visitor arrivals that we could cope with and that could be sustained,” professor James Higham, from the University of Otago’s Department of Tourism, added. “For most of the last decade, the growth in arrivals to New Zealand has been high and relentless.”