Minister for Tourism and Hospitality’s foreword

A thriving tourism industry is a critical component of New Zealand’s economy. For most of our regions, tourism and hospitality are key drivers of economic growth. It has created many jobs for New Zealanders and provided income for our operators. Data shows that tourism is now back as New Zealand's second-biggest export earner, generating nearly $10.8 billion in export earnings for the year to March 2023.

It is my view that to continue to grow our economy, we need to grow the value of international tourism. International visitors spend widely across the economy on fuel, groceries, retail goods, transport, accommodation, tourism activities, and attractions.

As we grow, we know that our public infrastructure and conservation estate may face considerable pressure from higher visitor numbers. As such, it is important that this growth is well managed so that we retain and enhance the social licence for tourism to operate in New Zealand while also providing world-class experiences to international visitors.

Since I became the Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, I have been out speaking with operators, industry, workers, local government and visitors across the country. I have listened to the opportunities and challenges facing tourism and hospitality in New Zealand. During my travels, I have heard about the importance of ensuring international visitors contribute their fair share to the costs they impose and the benefits they receive from the infrastructure they use while here in New Zealand.

The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) is our most significant tourism funding tool. This funding allows us to react nimbly to issues arising for tourism operators, visitors, and New Zealanders, while also supporting our ambitions for tourism. However, the IVL does not raise enough funding to cover all these costs, with the remainder either covered by the Crown or not addressed. I believe too many costs are falling on the ratepayer and taxpayer and am seeking views on increasing the amount of the IVL.

Raising the IVL will help the Government address the issues facing tourism, ensuring that we can provide high-quality visitor experiences. I also want to ensure that an increase in the IVL has minimal impact on visitor demand to travel to New Zealand and that we continue to grow tourism’s economic contribution.

I am interested in receiving feedback from all stakeholders across the tourism industry, as well as from the wider public. Making changes to the IVL requires input, and I look forward to understanding your views on the proposed changes.

Hon Matt Doocey

Minister for Tourism and Hospitality

Minister of Conservation’s foreword

Kia ora koutou katoa,

New Zealand’s outstanding natural beauty is a key drawcard for our international visitors. Our global image as a visitor destination is built upon our pristine environment, breathtaking scenery and unique biodiversity. Our tourism and conservation sectors are closely linked and must continue working together to ensure we promote what New Zealand has to offer in a sustainable way.

Many of our most iconic visitor destinations, such as Milford Sound/Piopiotahi and Aoraki/Mt Cook, are on public conservation land managed by the Department of Conservation. I am pleased to see international visitor numbers returning to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, increasing numbers put increasing pressure on managing these taxpayer-funded sites. The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) offers a way for international visitors to contribute to the upkeep of the environment they enjoy and the visitor assets they use during their trips.

The tourism sector is a key part of New Zealand’s economy and one which I want to see continue to grow sustainably. Investments from the IVL can serve the dual purpose of boosting tourism and helping to conserve the natural environment visitors come to enjoy.

Since its introduction in 2019, the IVL has funded some key conservation projects despite the revenue reduction due to COVID-19. 5 years on from its introduction, it is time to review the $35 amount. An increase in the IVL could allow further investment in protecting our conservation lands and waters, with the benefit of ensuring it continues to drive sustainable tourism for decades to come.

The IVL is an important tool for tourism and conservation funding and one that can be increased without putting an additional burden on New Zealand taxpayers. I believe it is fair to ask international visitors to increase their contribution towards the funding of tourism and conservation.

I am looking forward to receiving feedback on the proposed changes and encourage you to share your views to inform our decision-making process.


Hon Tama Potaka

Minister of Conservation

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