Room Tax has been put to Bed, Says Tourism
Room Tax has been put to Bed, Says Tourism Industry
The concept of allowing local authorities to impose targeted rates on hotel rooms is ‘history’, said Tourism Industry Association New Zealand Chief Executive John Moriarty.
Mr Moriarty said a room rate has already been considered and, as it was clearly not Government policy, was dropped by Parliament during the passage of the Rating Bill earlier this year.
“Fresh thinking is needed to develop more acceptable ways to fund the infrastructure needed to support our national and regional economic development through tourism,” he said.
Mr Moriarty says central government collects approximately $1 Billion in GST receipts from tourism per annum and questions why some of this tax on ‘exports’ is not used to invest in public infrastructure that supports tourism.
“Whilst Central government benefits hugely from tourism activity there are many popular areas where congestion, water quality, public amenities, waste water and roading require improvements that exceed the rating base of local communities. Such investment would not only improve a declining visitor experience but also the communities themselves.” He notes that Able Tasman National Park, Milford Sound, Queenstown and parts of the West Coast fall into this category.
He urged local government to join with the Tourism Industry Association and lobby central government to help fund local infrastructure to improve our icon tourism destinations.