Tourist tax: Up to $35 to be charged

 radionz.co.nz  6/14/2018 7:31:52 PM 

The government has unveiled its plans to introduce a tourist tax in the second half of 2019.

A woman with a backpacker wheels a suitcase at an airport

Photo: 123RF

Most international visitors entering New Zealand for less than 12 months will be charged, with the rate set at between $25 and $35.

It will be collected through visa applications and a new Electronic Travel Authority.

Australians and people from most Pacific Island Forum countries would be exempt.

Other exemptions would apply to people on diplomatic, military, medical and humanitarian visas, those transiting through New Zealand, business visitor visa and APEC business traveller card holders and children under two years old.

The levy would collect about $57-80 million in its first year, depending on the rate, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said rising tourist numbers showed New Zealand's popularity, but with success came a burden.

"This rapid growth has impacted on the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure.

"Many regions are struggling to cope and urgently need improved infrastructure, from toilet facilities to carparks".

The proposal also includes big hikes to other immigration fees and levies, and will come into effect in November.

Work visas (excluding Recognised Seasonal Employers, Working Holiday and humanitarian work visas) are to go up 54 percent, student visas up 6.5 percent, group visitor visas 45 percent.

Immigration levies are to go up 43 percent.

The government is seeking feedback on the proposals - with written submissions due before 15 July.

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