New Zealand tourism slams idea of more visitor taxes and demands decrease of border levy

Published on : Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Zealand tourismThe tourism industry of New Zealand has again slammed the idea of more visitor taxes and said that a border levy headed for a $15m surplus should be decreased.

The tourism ministry said that additional taxes are not favored and if introduced, they need to be fair, applied nationally, and should be made for investment into regional tourism infrastructure. The ministry said that the $22 border clearance levy was “brought together in haste” before the 2015 budget with very limited analysis or consultation.

During the election campaign, Labour announced a new $25 a head border tax on international visitors to raise $75m a year to fund infrastructure and conservation.

The ministry said that the Government already collected $1.2b a year in GST from international tourists and it needs to invest more in tourism infrastructure and the Department of Conservation.

Auckland City Council this year launched a targeted rate on commercial accommodations to pay for tourism promotion, and Queenstown mayor Jim Boult supported a regional bed tax on the accommodation sector to help pay for infrastructure.

The Government requires demonstrating a serious commitment to protecting the environment via measures such as establishing marine protected areas and making progress on Predator Free New Zealand. Tourism directly employs 188,000 New Zealanders and it would require an extra 53,000 employees by 2021.


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