Bookabach welcomes Queenstown referendum result

Wanaka Houses & Lake.

The provisional results of the Queenstown tourism levy referendum showed 81.37 percent of votes were in favour of the policy.

Online short-term accommodation provider Bookabach was optimistic about the outcome.

Bookabach general manager Peter Miles said the company has been supportive of the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s efforts to raise funds for tourism infrastructure since the beginning.

“A number of local governments across New Zealand are attempting to solve the tourism infrastructure funding issue with blunt instruments like property rates,” said Miles.

“Mayor Boult’s innovative approach to the issue stands in stark contrast to others that refuse to see the fundamental flaws associated with using rudimentary funding levers.”

Following the referendum, Bookabach made four recommendations to the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

They suggested applying the levy to both online and offline transactions, ensuring the levy is low enough not to impact demand, spreading the tax across other tourism-related businesses, and off-setting the levy with rate-relief.

“While the result is a positive one, Queenstown-Lakes District Council must now work through the exact model and rate for the levy.

"We stand ready to work with the council to help ensure the successful application of the levy.”