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 2022/23
  • the financial and progress reporting for the IVL projects as at 30 June 2023.

What is the IVL?

The IVL is a levy payable by most people who intend to enter New Zealand on a temporary basis. Inbound travellers can pay for the IVL at the same time as applying for a visa of electronic travel authority (ETA). The levy is currently set at $35 NZD. Collection of the IVL began in July 2019.

The revenue collected via the IVL funds a series of targeted, prioritised investments that can span multiple financial years. 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 on the alignment of projects to these objectives and priorities. MBIE and DOC also provide project oversight, reporting, compliance, and monitoring services.

The 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 New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020; and the DOC Heritage and Visitor Strategy.

IVL projects

In 2019, an initial round of 10 multi-year projects were funded from the IVL. Due to the significant reduction in revenue caused by COVID, there were no additional projects funded until 2021/22. This report covers 4 of the original 2019 projects which are still running, plus 7 new tourism projects approved in 2021/22.