NEW Zealand’s International Visitor Levy is under review, as part of a recovery strategy announced by NZ Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis yesterday.
Davis said the Government was working with the industry to “develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world,” with Tourism New Zealand tasked with reimagining the sector from the ground up including governance, domestic and international marketing, and how visitors are managed once they arrive.
“We have an opportunity to rethink the entire way we approach tourism to ensure that it will make New Zealand a more sustainable place, enrich the lives of all our people and deliver a sector which is financially self-sustaining in the longer term.
“Given international travel is likely to be heavily restricted for some time, and features of our tourism industry such as cruise ships are currently banned, this will need to be a phased approach, looking at how we can focus on and promote domestic tourism in the short term and how we can target an international offering,” Davis said.
As part of planning for a tourism restart, the Government has agreed to review NZ’s International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) investment plan, which sees most visitors pay NZ$35 to help fund infrastructure.
“This plan was prepared at a different time, for a different future…we are now looking at what aspects of the plan remain fit for purpose, and how the IVL can be best used to help rebuild the tourism industry as part of a restart package,” he said.
Tourism NZ CEO Stephen England-Hall said the tourism review was an opportunity to “listen to communities and design the future of tourism in New Zealand so that it benefits our people and our home”.