Visitors happy to pay $25 tax to enter NZ
Tourists say New Zealand is worth paying $25 for.
The Government announced on Friday it was investigating a potential tourism tax. It has launched a consultation period to see if an international visitor levy would ease the burden on communities and ratepayers for tourism-related infrastructure.
The proposed levy would be between $25 and $35 for each international visitor entering New Zealand for 12 months or less, apart from Australian citizens, most Pacific Island Forum countries and permanent residents.
French tourist Lucile Cardona, 27, who was in Queenstown on Friday, said she supported the tourism tax idea.
The fee would be small compared to visa costs and flights to New Zealand.
‘‘If you want to come and work here you have to pay $200 for a visa, but if you come as a visitor for three months you don’t have to pay.’
Cardona did not think fewer tourists would visit New Zealand if the levy was adopted.
‘‘It’s not a lot so I think it would be all good.’’
American tourists Elisabeth and Lori Steiger said they would not mind paying a fee to enter New Zealand.
‘‘It’s such a beautiful country that I can see we need to protect it. I don’t think it would be too intrusive, it’s well worth the visit here – it’s so beautiful,’’ Lori Steiger said.
Elisabeth Steiger said paying more than $35 would be ‘‘too much’’.
‘‘There are a lot of attractions that cost $100 or $200 and it would make a small dent in available funds. Fifty dollars would be the most I’d pay overall but anything above that would be a bit ridiculous, especially with how many tourists come here in the first place.’’
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult was disappointed with the Government’s proposal and said a bed tax was a more ‘‘logical’’ concept which he would continue to lobby for.