If you know Esplanade, then you know how much we adore New Zealand. This small country’s tourism industry has exploded in recent years, with people from all over the world attracted to its vibrant cities, charming towns, and mile upon mile of breathtaking natural beauty.

Due to the increase in visitors, the New Zealand Government is implementing an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy. The cost of this levy for U.S. tourists will be $35.00 per person. The levy is still being written into legislation and is predicted to start in the latter half of 2019.

The levy will be payable through a new Electronic Travel Authority, or ETA. (You may be familiar with ETAs if you have previously traveled to Australia.) The ETA fee has not been confirmed yet, but for a U.S. tourist it is estimated to cost between $9.00 – $12.50 per person.

This brings the total fees to travel to New Zealand, once these changes are implemented, to between $44.00 – $47.50 per person. Your travel consultant at Esplanade can assist with walking you through this process – but no need to worry until an official start date has been announced!

The levy is estimated to bring in $80 million in its first year alone, and those funds will be used toward tourism infrastructure and conservation efforts. The New Zealand Government is currently working with conservation, local government, and tourism industry stakeholders to finalize the specifics on how the money will be used.

For more information, you can read a pamphlet published by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

The Esplanade team is here to keep you updated as this new levy develops and to answer any questions you may have.

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Our recent visit to Australia was absolutely outstanding! Visiting four very different areas of the country, with a combination of driving and hiking on our own as well as guided hikes and tours, provided us with an outstanding look into the diversity of this country. Esplanade once again created an itinerary that was perfectly suited to our particular interests which are heavily weighted on exploring the natural world. We look forward to working with Esplanade Travel on our future adventures!

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