New Zealand will follow the lead of another forty countries which already charge a tourism tax and implement the NZ IVL as of October 1st, 2019. As a part of the eTA framework, Canadian nationals will be asked to pay this levy when submitting their application.
Why is New Zealand implementing the IVL
The role of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy is to invite foreigners who visit New Zealand to support the very infrastructures they enjoy, as well as help with the conservation of the natural environments touched by touristic activities, by paying a nominal fee. It is predicted that, in its first year of activity, the IVL will bring in roughly $80 million to be used in tourism infrastructure and conservation projects around New Zealand. In the long run, the government of New Zealand hopes that by introducing this levy the tourism industry will be able to develop more sustainably, benefiting both visitors and local communities. As a consequence, tourism-related projects will be improved and New Zealand’s breathtaking natural landscapes will be managed even better.
Recently, public conservation lands and waters, as well as national facilities across New Zealand, have been under pressure due to a substantial increase in the flux of international tourists. Yet, until now, there has been no direct financial contribution from visitors towards the up-keeping of tourism infrastructure or environmental conservation.
Eligible travellers will be charged the IVL fee upon registering for a New Zealand ETA or Visitor visa. The rate for an NZ International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy will be NZD 35 (US$24) and its validity will be the same as that of the ETA.
Who will be charged the IVL
The majority of foreign passport holders visiting New Zealand for up to 1 year will be required to pay the IVL, in particular:
- Citizens of countries enrolled in the NZ Visa Waiver Program, such as Canada
- Any traveller arriving by cruise ship, regardless of nationality
Who is exempt of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy for NZ
The following individuals will not be charged the New Zealand IVL:
- Citizens of New Zealand
- Bearers of NZ permanent residency cards
- Citizens of Australia
- Holders of Australian permanent residency
- Passport holders from the Pacific Island countries
- Travellers under a Business Visitor Visa or under the possession of APEC business travel cards
- Crew members of ships and aircraft
- Transiting travellers
- Travellers in transit to Antarctica
- Travellers with the intention of conducting medical, military, diplomatic, and humanitarian services in New Zealand
- Workers under Regional Seasonal Employment schemes