The new Parliament-approved legislation permits the collection of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) starting next month, as well as the digital processing of the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NzeTA), which is designed to “improve the way travelers are assessed before they arrive in New Zealand” in order to strengthen border security – as per the country’s immigration website, which will be mandatory from 1 October.
Moreover, most international visitors entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will need to pay an extra fee of $35 NZD, or about $23 USD, tax which will be collected through the immigration system, travelers having to pay the IVL alongside visa or ETA fees. Meanwhile, Australian citizens, permanent residents and people from most Pacific Island countries will be exempt from the IVL.
New Zealand recorded last year alone an almost 4% jump in international arrivals, as per data from Tourism New Zealand. With US visitors making the top three on New Zealand’s international visitors market, declaring themselves most pleased with their experience, according to Tourism New Zealand’s Visitor Experience Monitor research. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said in a statement regarding the IVL:
“The IVL is an investment in New Zealand. It is expected to raise over $450 million over five years, funding projects to ensure our country and our people get the best from tourism growth. Our international visitors will be contributing directly to the infrastructure they use and helping to protect the natural places they enjoy.”
While Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage added: “As visitor numbers rise we must ensure the tourism industry is part of the solution for our biggest conservation challenges; especially the impact of invasive predators like rats and stoats, and habitat loss and degradation. The levy enables visitors to give nature a helping hand.”