The Labour-led government in New Zealand has said that it is in plans to impose a tourist tax on foreigners visiting their countries.
The Labour-led government in New Zealand has said that it is in plans to impose a tourist tax on foreigners visiting their countries, a move that it believes will help fund the country’s infrastructure and ease the strain on tourists visiting the country. New Zealand’s Tourist minister Kelvin Davis announced that the country plans to begin a tourist tax by mid 2019- the middle of the official “China New Zealand Year of Tourism”.
According to Davis, the tax will help New Zealand sustain its infrastructure and help tourists better enjoy the natural beauty that the country has to offer. Since 2015, New Zealand has seen an increase in tourism by 30%. The tax will be up to NZ$ 35 ($24.40 per person) to be charged from foreign tourists coming to New Zealand for 12 months or less. The Labour-led government believes that the tax will generate an extra NZ$57 million to NZ$80 million ($39.7 million-$55.8 million) a year to fund conservation and infrastructure.
According to Davis, the tax is for the benefit of tourists as the additional funds will help the government provide them better infrastructure. “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,” Minister for Tourism Kelvin Davis said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
Davis believes that the financial burden of maintaining the infrastructure should not be the responsibility of New Zealanders alone. Foreign visitors using the infrastructure should also help improve and sustain it, he said.
The new tax imposed by New Zealand will cover the country’s major contributors of tourism including China, USA, and the UK. Australia, people of Pacific Islands and the permanent citizens of New Zealand are exempted from the tax.
The tax would be collected with visa applications and through a new electronic travel authority that people eligible for visas on arrival would have to apply to and pay the fee. The tax collected will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation and protection of natural places.