The New Zealand government has recently introduced a levy of NZD $35 on most international visitors, with the aim of raising over $450 million in the next five years.
The money generated through this levy, known as the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, will be invested equally into sustainable tourism and conservation projects (35 to 40 per cent will go specifically to biodiversity).
The new levy applies to temporary visitors, but does not apply to Australians, visitors from many Pacific Island countries, or certain others.
PICTURE CREDIT: suriya silsaksom/Getty Images.
The end goal is that tourism can stay sustainable and beneficial to the nation and its citizens, New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said in 2018.
“3.8 million international visitors arrive to our shores every year – a number that is expected to grow to 5.1 million by 2024,” Davis said.
“As the number of visitors to our country increases year on year, so does the pressure grow on our infrastructure, on our conservation estate, and on our communities.”
“This Levy will ensure our international visitors contribute to the infrastructure they use and help protect the natural places they come here to enjoy.”
“One outcome I am keen to explore is how this money can help places like Franz Joseph, and Tekapo – where not many ratepayers live, but a lot of people go and visit.”
A more precise investment plan is expected be to be finalised by October 2019.