In a move to limit the impact of tourism on the environment, New Zealnad is considering to have international visitors pay more to access some of the nation’s natural attractions.
NZ Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said he is “planning ways now to ensure that our future visitors pay their way.”
In 2019 New Zealand introduced a a person International Visitor Levy in 2019 of $35 NZ Dollars.
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from executive traveller 26.3.22
New Zealand may ask international visitors to pay more to access some of the nation’s natural attractions as the government seeks ways to limit the impact of tourism on the environment.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash told a University of Otago conference Friday he is “planning ways now to ensure that our future visitors pay their way.”
Prior to the pandemic, tourism generated more foreign income for New Zealand than the dairy industry, but there were concerns about over-crowding and poor infrastructure that was damaging the nation’s clean, green image.
As the border begins to progressively re-open from April, the government is promoting a reset of tourism that focuses on quality experiences rather than volume of visitors.
“As international visitors return, we will not fall back into the old ways,” Nash said. “Tourism won’t return to the way it was. It will be better.”
The government introduced a NZ$35 ($24) a person International Visitor Levy in 2019 to help pay for projects that protect the environment and provide better facilities at tourist sites.
“Most of us could agree that NZ$35 for the IVL was fine when it first came in, but is not sustainable in the long term if we are to meet the expectations of visitors for world-class infrastructure and facilities,” said Nash.
“I am continuing to look at the IVL but no immediate changes are in store, and no cabinet decisions have been made.”
The industry needs to refocus on attracting “high value” visitors – as distinct from high net worth – and that still includes budget travelers and backpackers, Nash said.
“High-value, high quality visitors give back more than they take,” he said.
“They travel across seasons and across regions. They are environmentally conscious. They want to learn about local history and culture, and try new experiences.”