Paula Bennett, Tourism Minister of NZ considers tourism tax to be unnecessary

Published on : Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Paula Bennett,Paula Bennett, Tourism Minister explains that a tourist tax is withdrawn and councils need to show up with new projects before urging for more funding.

However the mayor of one of the key attractions of the country explains that ongoing funding is required to support the fund infrastructure of the districts and cater to the rising visitor numbers. Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Paula Bennett had made such comments at the time of her visit to Timaru on Monday.

She expressed that a tax on tourist inflow in the country, anticipated by numerous parties including Labour and the Greens, has the propensity to influence visitors’ decisions to come to New Zealand.

“We just think we can pay for what is needed, without actually imposing an extra cost on tourists right now. There’s a whole lot of questions about how you would make sure only international visitors were paying for it and not New Zealand residents, because not everybody’s on a New Zealand passport.

“We just feel that there is a whole lot of competition out there. We just don’t want to be pricing ourselves out of them coming here.”

When she was questioned if a $20 or $25 tax as proposed by other parties would be sufficient to disappoint people visiting the country, Bennett said she believed it would.

“It could put our cruise ships off, to be quite blunt. They’ve had water levys put on before and they’ve been quite upset about it. “What I’ve been saying to the councils in particular is, get your projects in, let’s really work out how we fund them and whether or not we’ve got enough to fund them, and if we haven’t we’ll look at the next options.”

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