New Zealand could introduce tourist tax next year

The government hopes the tourist tax could fund tourism and conservation

New Zealand’s tourism minister has confirmed that the government plans to announce a tourist tax in the coming weeks.

Speaking at a tourism conference in Dunedin, tourism minister Kelvin Davis said that the government would follow through with their manifesto commitment to the tax.

This stated that each international tourist would pay NZ$25 ($17) to visit the country. It has not been confirmed how this would be charged, although it is likely that it may be added to airfares.

The tax will fund conservation and tourism facilities to attract wealthier tourists to New Zealand – Shutterstock New Zealand could introduce tourist tax next year
The tax will fund conservation and tourism facilities to attract wealthier tourists to New Zealand – Shutterstock

The government hopes that the tourism tax would raise NZ$75 million ($52 million) to fund conservation and tourism in the country without making residents pay for it.

Some of the money will be invested in upgrading the Pacific nation’s facilities in order to attract wealthier tourists.

Over the past few years, New Zealand has seen a boom in tourism. It is the country’s largest export industry, with a total tourism expenditure of $34.7 billion in 2016.

International tourism expenditure increased by 17.1 per cent at the same time.

“We are looking at a range of options,” Davis told reporters at the conference.

“We have pretty much worked out a number of issues, we will be making an announcement in the next few weeks.

“I don’t want our environmental and tourist reputation damaged.”