New tax comes into effect . . .
On July 1, New Zealand started charging most international visitors to the country a NZ$35 (C$30) tax intended to curb the negative impacts in high-tourism areas. Exemptions are offered for Australians, citizens of a number of Pacific countries, and transiting passengers. The measure, first announced in 2018, will generate around NZ$80 million (C$69 million) in its first year, with funds to be used to support conservation and tourism infrastructure projects, particularly in areas that attract high numbers of visitors.
Problem of ‘over-tourism’ not unique to New Zealand . . .
Several famous tourist destinations across Asia have had to shut down recently due to over-tourism. Maya Bay, Thailand’s most famous beach, will remain closed off to visitors until 2021 so the area can recover from the damage caused by over 5,000 visitors per day. The Philippines island of Boracay, a tourist mecca, was closed from April to October 2018 after a video of raw sewage being dumped into its waters went viral. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called the island a “cesspool."
Canadians may not mind paying, but plan ahead . . .
In 2018 Canada was the eighth-largest source of visitor arrivals to New Zealand, and while the new tax is unlikely to deter Canadian tourists, its collection through the soon-to-be-implemented New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority could prove irksome. Similar travel protocols, which can cause much confusion when implemented, are required for visitors to both the U.S. and Canada. Canadians visiting New Zealand are encouraged to plan ahead and get informed.
- New Zealand Herald: New foreign tourist tax - vital funds for industry or unnecessary tax grab?
- Radio New Zealand: Most international visitors to New Zealand will have to pay levy from today
- Statistics New Zealand: International travel: December 2018