International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

Forty countries already charge a tourism tax, and New Zealand implemented its IVL on October 1st 2019. Also, the Visitors from the United States will have to pay the IVL when applying for a New Zealand eTA.

The aim of the IVL

Through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, the tourists will contribute financially to the local infrastructures. In addition, the IVL will presumably contribute with more than US$ 50 million during its first year of implementation. Therefore, this funding will go to conservation projects and tourism infrastructure in New Zealand. The aim is to make sure the tourism industry remains sustainable, inclusive, and productive, providing a positive experience for visitors and local communities. Finally, the levy should improve tourism planning and boost the protection and enhancement of New Zealand’s exceptional natural environment.

In recent years the significant increase in international visitors to New Zealand has put additional pressure on public conservation of lands and waters. This important task is a duty of the Department of Conservation, the national infrastructure and facilities.

The cost of the International Tourism Levy

Travelers eligible for the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy will pay for it when applying for the Electronic Travel Authority or Visitor Visa. The levy will cost NZD $35 (US$24) and it will last as long as the eTA is valid.

Travelers who will have to pay the IVL

Most travelers to New Zealand’s shores entering for 12 months or less will be eligible to pay the new levy, especially:

  • Travelers from visa waiver countries, including those from the United States;
  • Cruise ship passengers irrespective of nationality.

Exemptions to the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy

Travelers embarking on New Zealand exempt from paying the tourism levy include:

  • New Zealand citizens and its permanent residents as well;
  • Australian citizens (permanent residents included);
  • Nationals of Pacific Island countries;
  • Business Visitor Visa travelers and APEC business travel cards;
  • Air and ship crew;
  • Travelers in transit, which also includes the ones headed to Antarctica;
  • Travelers entering New Zealand for military, medical, diplomatic, and humanitarian purposes;
  • Finally, Regional Seasonal Employment workers.