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Published on Sunday, June 17, 2018

New Zealand plans tourist tax

The New Zealand government has said it plans to impose a tax on most international arrivals to pay for infrastructure improvements.

The tax could be up to NZ$35 (£18) per person.

Minister for tourism Kelvin Davis said: "It's only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy.

"This rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure. Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to car parks."

Neighbour Australia, which is the largest source market, will be exempt from the tax, as will several Pacific Island nations.

Citizens from most other nations will however pay it, which will be collected with visa applications.

Eligible visa-on-arrival travellers will pay it through a new electronic travel authority which will be rolled out.

New Zealand says its infrastructure is buckling under the strain of surging tourist numbers which are up by nearly a third in the past three years.

Other fees are also being hiked significantly, including fees for various immigration services and the cost of working holiday visas.

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  • Kill the Goose that lays the Golden Egg

    This seems totally counter-productive. Tourism income is already of huge value to the economy and should be used to pay for the infrastructure that can drive increased tourism. I imagine NZ government must be made up of career civil servants rather than members drawn from a business background. This is typical civil service thinking that does not understand ROI business cases. Additional tax on the businesses that benefit from the tourism revenue would make much more sense.

    By John Mc Quillan, Monday, June 18, 2018

  • And the $1.1bn....?

    That's the GST/VAT on the $14.5bn that tourists pumped into NZ's economy last year. It just disappears into the consolidated fund and the Govt in power acts as if it's "normal" revenue while at the same time cutting resources to the Dept of Conservation who maintain the resources that visitors go there for. And why exempt Australians? That make up close to 40% of arrivals and they don't use any tourism infrastructure?

    By John Burland, Monday, June 18, 2018

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