The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) ensures tourism continues to benefit communities, visitors and the environment, helping to create productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth that enriches New Zealanders’ lives.

This report outlines:

  • the financial performance of the IVL in 2020/21
  • the financial and progress reporting for the 10 initial (the joint IVL Ministers announced this initial round of IVL investments in August 2019) IVL projects.

What is the IVL?

Collection of the IVL commenced in July 2019. It is a levy payable by most people who intend to enter New Zealand on a temporary basis. Australians, some Pacific Island citizens and residents, and some other visa holders will not pay the levy. Inbound travellers can pay for the IVL at the same time as applying for a visa or electronic travel authority (ETA). The levy is currently set at $35 NZD.

The revenue collected via the IVL funds a series of targeted, prioritised investments. Investment decisions are made jointly by the Ministers of Tourism, Conservation and Finance (the joint IVL Ministers). The IVL is not a contestable fund. Cabinet agreed to split the IVL fund 50:50 between tourism and conservation investment areas.

The joint IVL Ministers set long-term objectives and funding priorities for the IVL. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Department of Conservation (DOC) provide advice to the joint IVL Ministers that is aligned to these objectives and priorities. MBIE and DOC also provide project oversight, reporting, compliance, and monitoring services.

The 4 pillars of the IVL are:

  • biodiversity: 35% to 40% of the IVL
  • responding to visitor pressure on conservation and the environment: 10% to 15% of the IVL
  • tourism strategic infrastructure: 40% to 45% of the IVL
  • tourism system capability: 5% to 10% of the IVL.

These investment priorities target areas of cultural and historic significance, the restoration and protection of New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, upgrades to existing tourism destinations, and transformational technologies.

The investment priorities are guided by key frameworks reflecting government objectives for conservation and tourism. These include: the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy; Te Mana o te Taiao – the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020; and the DOC Heritage and Visitor Strategy, which informed the priorities for the second conservation investment pillar.