The country’s cabinet has approved the International Visitor Conservation & Tourism Levy, which will be set at NZ$35 per visitor. The levy will be collected through visa fees and via the new Electronic Travel Authority, with legislation due to be passed around the middle of next year.
The intention is for the funds to be split evenly between conservation and tourism, said tourism minister Kelvin Davis.
Further work with stakeholders will now be done to decide the best ways to spend the levy’s revenue. “This levy is one part of a package of initiatives designed to make sure the tourism industry is sustainable, productive and inclusive, and continues to provide good experiences for both visitors and local communities,” he said.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said: “The money raised through the levy will help improve the protection and enhancement of New Zealand’s distinctive natural environment and improve tourism planning. The chance to enjoy Aotearoa’s spectacular landscapes and nature are a major reason international visitors come to our country."
She added: "Nature is at the heart of New Zealand’s success. Improved tourism strategy and planning will help ensure the natural, cultural and historic heritage that underpins our tourism industry is protected and enhanced into the future.”