There are many reasons to visit New Zealand. Home to snow-capped mountains, never-ending coastlines, magnificent Fjords, golden sandy beaches, vast winelands, cosmopolitan cities, beautifully maintained roads, friendly locals, and more National Parks than you could possibly visit during just one trip, Aotearoa, as it is known in the Maori language, is a one of a kind holiday destination, which is perhaps why millions of international traveller’s flock here each year.
But if you dream of visiting New Zealand on a holiday of a lifetime, and ticking this magnificent two-island treasure off your travel bucket list, you might want to think about doing it sooner rather than later, or it could cost you more than you think…
In 2019, the New Zealand government plans to implement a tourist tax on all international visitors who intend to stay for 12 months or less, with only children under the age of two years and visitors from neighbouring Australia and Pacific Island Countries being exempt.
It is believed that the New Zealand Tourist Tax will cost NZ$25 (£13) – NZ$35 (£18) per person, and that it will raise up to NZ$80 million (£42 million) each year. The new tax will be collected via an ESTA style visa system (as used in the United States) and all funds will be used towards conservation and infrastructure.
At the time of writing, the New Zealand tourism tax is not set in stone, and government officials are still collecting public opinions, however a decision is expected by September 2018, and the tax will be introduced towards the second half of 2019.
While £13 – £18 per person doesn’t sound a lot, it soon mounts up if you are travelling as part of a group or larger family, and so if you are thinking about visiting New Zealand on a self-drive holiday, romantic honeymoon, or cycling tour, now is most definitely the best and cheapest time to do it!