New Zealand announced plans on today, June 15, to introduce a tourist tax and increase other fees for international visitors to fund infrastructure development in the face of a tourist boom, says Traveller24.
Tourism numbers in the country of 4.5 million have surged by nearly a third in the past three years to 3.8 million in the year to April. This rapid growth has impacted the costs and availability of publicly-provided infrastructure.
Travellers are advised that price hikes for immigration fees and visas will take effect in November 2018, and the amount by which these prices will increase is still to be confirmed. Currently, South Africans need to pay NZ$165.00 for online visa applications, while the cost for paper applications NZ$184.
In addition to this, a tax of NZ$25-35 would be imposed on international visitors from mid-2019.
Australians and most Pacific Island forum countries will be exempt from the new charges.
The announcement is not good news for South Africans who not only require a visa to enter the country, but together with a weaker exchange rate will feel the pinch of now facing additional costs if they plan to visit.