Tourist tax likely to be implemented in New Zealand from next year

New Zealand has confirmed that it plans to impose tourist tax and could be implemented by early 2019. The Tourism Minister, Kelvin Davis, while talking at a tourism conference in Dunedin last week assured to the media that an official announcement will be there soon. The plan is to initiate a NZ$25 (US$17) tourism charge for the international tourists.

It is estimated that this will bring in a revenue of NZ$75 million (US$52 million) for the tourism sector and its maintenance. The fund will also be utilized for creating world-class facilities for the visitors without making the residents pay for it. The tourism department hopes to lure high paying tourists to the country. The exact nature of tax is unknown. It’s expected that the tax may be added to the airfare, like the tax government introduced in 2015 to cover the cost of border security.

The tourism in New Zealand has been on a high. The country had 3.7 million visitors last year. The government wishes to bring in more international tourists and raise the number of tourists to 5.1 million by 2024. The tourism minister sees the surge positively, but is also concerned about the damage it can bring to the environment and tourist reputation of the country. “We are looking at a range of options. We have pretty much worked out a number of issues, we will be making an announcement in the next few weeks,” Davis told reporters at the conference.

As the number of international tourists is increasing, the amenities like car parking, public toilets and accommodation rates are under enormous damage, particularly with the fame of freedom camping among budget travellers. Even though concerns are there, in a survey conducted on January 2018, 90% of the people agreed that international tourism was best for economy. However, 44% are worried about the strain the international tourists are bringing to the country.

Cities like Paris, Amsterdam, and New York have already tourist tax imposed in an effort to tackle over tourism and overcrowding. With New Zealand joining them, its certain that many are sure to follow this.