Little promises tourist levy under Labour in first term

Labour leader Andrew Little says he is personally in favour of a tourism levy on visitors to New Zealand.

"I think it's the most efficient and effective way of raising the revenue when we need to do to support regional councils and other communities," he told The Nation on Saturday.

"I don't have a figure in mind. There's the concept about having a levy that you collect when you buy your airline ticket or pay over the border."

He says Labour would lock in a tourism levy in its first term of Government.

On Thursday a $178 million infrastructure package to fund new toilets, carparks and freedom camping facilities in New Zealand was announced by Tourism Minister Paula Bennett.

The Tourism Infrastructure Fund is expected to provide $102 million over the next four years, while $76 million is going towards developing the Department of Conservation's tourist facilities.

The funding comes after calls for Government to deal with problems from freedom campers leaving messes in popular places over the holiday season.

In its 2016 Tourism Infrastructure Summary report, the Tourism Industry Association said: "We estimate up to $100 million - $150 million per year over the next decade could be required to ensure the new generation of New Zealand's tourism infrastructure is 'future ready'."

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