DO BUSINESSES SUPPORT THE ‘TOURIST TAX’?

If a business has any pressing thoughts about the Government’s proposed ‘tourist tax’, now is the time to make a formal submission.

As requested by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, the Government has extended the submission deadline for the International Visitor Levy, the associated Electronic Travel Authority and changes to immigration fees and levies. Submissions are now open until 22 July.

With the introduction of the IVL, international visitors – excluding Australia and Pacific Islands – will each be required to pay between $25 and $35 before entering New Zealand. It is expected to raise an estimated $57 million to $80 million in its first year.

Despite the additional submission time, TIA believes most tourism businesses are prepared to support a new border tax on international visitors.

More than 450 respondents completed a TIA survey on tourism funding and investment priorities following the announcement of the Government’s proposed International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

“The top preference of the survey respondents, with almost 80 percent support, is for the Government to reinvest some of the $1.5 billion per annum in GST collected from international visitors. Three-quarters of respondents also support the use of user fees and charges, for things like Department of Conservation facilities.” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.

“However, the third most preferred option is a border tax on international visitors, with 60 percent favouring this approach.”

33 percent of tourism businesses surveyed supported the Government proposal, and a further 45 percent are willing to support it with certain conditions. Meanwhile, only 18 percent are opposed to the levy, and 4 percent are unsure.