Forty countries already charge a tourism tax, and New Zealand will implement their IVL on 1 October 2019. Visitors from the United states will have to pay this levy when they apply for their eTA.
The aim of the IVL
Through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, international visitors will contribute financially to the local infrastructures which they might enjoy while in New Zealand and assist in protecting the natural environment affected by tourism. The IVL will presumably contribute approximately $80 million during its first year of implementation to fund conservation projects and tourism infrastructure in New Zealand. The aim is to make sure the tourism industry remains sustainable, inclusive, and productive, providing a positive experience for visitors and local communities. The levy should improve tourism planning and boost the protection and enhancement of New Zealand’s exceptional natural environment.
The significant increase in international visitors to New Zealand recently has put additional pressure on public conservation lands and waters managed by the Department of Conservation, the national infrastructure and facilities. Visitors do not currently contribute to any revenue stream which invested in the maintenance of infrastructure and funding of assets.
Travelers eligible for the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy will pay for it when applying for the Electronic Travel Authority or Visitor visa. The levy will cost NZD $35 (US$24) and it will last as long as the ETA is valid.
Travelers who will have to pay the IVL
Most travelers to New Zealand’s shores entering for 12 months or less will be eligible to pay the new levy, notably:
- Travelers from visa waiver countries, including those from the United states
- Cruise ship passengers irrespective of nationality
Exemptions to the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy
Travelers embarking on New Zealand exempt from paying the tourism levy include:
- New Zealand citizens
- New Zealand permanent residents
- Australian citizens
- Australian permanent residents
- Nationals of Pacific Island countries
- Business Visitor Visa travelers and APEC business travel cards
- Air and ship crew
- Travelers in transit
- Travelers transiting through to Antarctica
- Travelers entering New Zealand for military, medical, diplomatic, and humanitarian purposes
- Regional Seasonal Employment workers