Trepidation as new tourism levy and Electronic Travel Authority becomes mandatory

There's some nervousness in the tourism industry as New Zealand's new visa system rolls out on Tuesday.

Visitors to New Zealand will be required to pay a $35 visitor levy and purchase an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) from October 1.

Australian and Pacific Island citizens will be able to continue to travel as normal, but Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO Chris Roberts is concerned about the 60 percent of tourists that will be affected.

The ETA needs to be purchased before getting on the plane, so it's expected a few travellers will be stopped at the airport.

Roberts told The AM Show you can't expect everyone to know what to do.

"We've got our fingers crossed that there's no chaos at any airports around the world because there will be some people turning up today completely unaware that they need one of these ETAs."

Anyone who missed that they will need one will have to have avoided a huge PR campaign from Immigration NZ though, which has spent $5 million letting people know what's happening.

Roberts said some Immigration NZ staff have been sent to major airports to assist travellers and the major airlines are aware of the change.

But there's still an element of trepidation.

"Not everyone will know what's going on, there will be some anxiety at those airports and we hope that some sense is shown and that no legitimate traveller is stopped from coming to New Zealand today because they haven't done the online paperwork."

Roberts said he was interested to see what comes from the other major change happening today, the newly-introduced visitor levy.

Money from the levy will be split 50/50 between tourism infrastructure and conservation, and Roberts said he's hopeful tourists paying it will benefit

"Never a fan of new taxes but... hopefully, the system to collect it is going to work well and the key now is that it's spent wisely, that it actually is visible to the visitor who's paying it."