The New Zealand government is implementing an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.
This is “to ensure international visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural environment they enjoy”, according to an announcement made on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
Most international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged a levy of NZ$35 (US$23). Visitors exempt from this levy include Australian citizens and permanent residents as well as people from Pacific Island countries such as Tonga and Samoa.
The levy will be collected through visa fees, and for citizens of visa waiver countries, via the proposed Electronic Travel Authority process.
Some NZ$80 million is expected to be collected in the first year of implementing the levy. This will be split 50:50 between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity. The government is currently working with conservation, local government and tourism industry stakeholders to further work out how best to spend the revenue.
The levy will be required to go through a legislative process, and is expected to be implemented in the second half of 2019.