A tourism tax is to be introduced by New Zealand next year.
The New Zealand government is finalising plans for the levy which is expected to be up to NZ$35 per person – about £18 – paid on entry to the country.
Although no date has yet been set for the start of the tax it is likely to be operational in late 2019.
The levy will be collected through visa fees and via a proposed Electronic Travel Authority process.
Between NZ$57-NZ$80 million is expected be collected a year annually, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity, according to the New Zealand government
Paul Carberry, founder of specialist operator New Zealand in Depth, said: “At the moment the plans are still being finalised and nothing has been set in stone, however the word across the New Zealand tourism industry is to expect changes to be enforced by the end of 2019.
“There has been a surge in tourism in New Zealand in the last four years and this understandably puts a strain on infrastructure.
“Reports show that money raised from this project will be directed towards this and the ongoing conservation of native New Zealand animal and plant species.”
The money raised will initially be spent on amenities including car parks, toilets and walking track maintenance, and in support of conservation projects including native planting, breeding programmes and predator eradication.
“These are all things that will ultimately benefit visitors and it’s great to see the New Zealand government giving some targeted funding to the department of conservation and local operators,” added Carberry.
“If the funds raised by the levy are going back into developing tourism infrastructure and conservation projects, then I think it is the right thing to do.
“It’s something we believe in too. As a business we make regular donations to Okarito Nursery and Kaikoura Wildlife Rescue as well as, where possible, recommending organisations and accommodation like Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki and Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass, that work hard to conserve their local environments.”
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