International visitors pay $1.7 billion each year in GST. Now, industry experts think its time some of this money went to back to support regional tourism activities and infrastructure.
“There are regions under pressure from tourism growth and the current funding systems are inadequate to manage that growth. Other regions want to attract more visitors but have limited financial ability to do so,” said Chris Roberts, chief executive, Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
“While it might be argued the Central Government already returns a portion of its tax take to the regions via current tourism-related funds such as the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and Provincial Growth Fund, both are short-term solutions where a sustainable, long-term solution is required.”
TIA has submitted a letter to the Productivity Commission saying a national solution is needed to provide councils with the funds to support visitor growth.
“Ultimately, the TIA Board agreed that committing a small portion of the GST take from international visitors to be redistributed to local government to address local issues, will achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand.”