Labour will establish a Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund that will invest $75m a year into supporting the vital tourism economy, says Labour’s Tourism spokesperson Kris Faafoi.
“This will be funded by a $25 levy on international visitors.
“Tourism’s success means we need more infrastructure to serve all these visitors, especially if we want to attract high-spending tourists who will increase the value of the sector to the New Zealand economy.
“From Northland to Southland, councils are facing increasing pressure to support growing numbers of tourists without the funds to do it.
“It’s time for the Government to help ensure we deliver a world-class experience to tourists, without unfairly burdening local communities.
“The Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund will contribute $45m a year to tourism infrastructure and training, with a particular focus on high demand areas. It will also invest $30m in protecting and enhancing our natural environment, as well as the infrastructure tourists use on conservation land.
“It’s only fair that the cost of these important projects is recouped from the international visitors that enjoy them.
“There’s no evidence that a levy of less than one per cent of what the average tourist spends in New Zealand will hurt tourism. In fact, after National introduced a $22 border charge, passenger numbers rose faster than expected.
“The Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund will ensure New Zealand has the infrastructure and attractions needed to support tourism, and that our natural treasures that bring so many visitors here are protected and enhanced for future generations,” says Kris Faafoi.