Report: New Zealand Opposition Party Proposes Tax on International Visitors

View of the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand
Photo by BackyardProduction/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Travel Wire News and several other media outlets are reporting that New Zealand opposition party Labour has said it would introduce a new levy on international visitors to the country if elected.

According to the Travel Wire News report, the proposed plan is to charge foreign travelers a levy of roughly $18 to generate roughly $32.6 million a year for its tourism industry and about $21.7 million for environmental projects.

In April, New Zealand’s Tourism Minister, Paula Bennett, said she opposed the idea of introducing a tourist or hotel tax, according to the report. 

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Asked in an interview with TVNZ whether such a tax should be introduced to cover the infrastructure costs of tourism, she said: “I’m personally not a big fan.” 

In November of last year, New Zealand’s then Prime Minister, John Key, said that the government was looking at introducing a framework to increase taxes on tourists, according to Travel Wire News.

According to Key, a new levy would fund improvements to infrastructure, to cope with surging visitor numbers. Other countries have either increased arrivals/departure taxes or increased goods and services tax on hotel accommodation and/or tourism services, according to the Travel Wire News report. 

According to Stuff, Rotorua's lakeside and Whakarewarewa Forest would be two locations to benefit from a proposed tourist tax that a Labour Government would put in place.

Labour's tourism spokesperson Kris Faafoi said the plan was for airlines and travel companies to build the levy into their charges, though he conceded that might meet some opposition, according to the Stuff report. 

A general election will take place in New Zealand on September 23.

Visit www.newzealand.com/us/

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