Cruise liners will go elsewhere thanks to tourist levy - David Seymour

  • 16/06/2018

The Government's being accused of adding another tax with its proposed tourist levy.

The levy would see people entering the country charged up to $35 if they're staying for less than a year.

ACT leader David Seymour says it's the wrong approach.

"The Government needs to start using the taxes it already collects smarter, and ACT's proposal is they should give the GST on construction to the [local] councils."

The levy would collect around $57 million to $80 million in its first year, which will be split between tourism infrastructure and conservation activity.

"This is an incredibly blunt way of collecting extra revenue," said Mr Seymour. "Someone who comes for three months will pay the same as somebody who comes for a weekend."

If it goes ahead will be implemented in the second half of 2019.

"There's no question that cruise liners for instance will be looking at docking in Auckland, and when they have 5000 passengers at $25 each, they might say, 'You know what? We're going to dock in Vanuatu,'" said Mr Seymour.

Australians and most Pacific Island residents will be exempt from paying the fee.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said tourists would be understanding of the need for a levy.


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