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Adventure Tourism Operators Win ACC Levy Cuts

Media Release

24 January 2013

Adventure Tourism Operators Win ACC Levy Cuts

A large number of adventure and outdoor tourism operators are looking forward to a reduction in their ACC levies following a review of their risk levels instigated by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).

An estimated 200 TIA member businesses around the country will see a huge reduction in their 2013-14 ACC levies, from $3.48 to $0.84 per $100 of payroll. These businesses are classified by ACC as ‘Amusement and other recreation activities’ (93400 classification unit).

Alpine and white water recreation operators, who currently fall into this category, are in line for a levy reduction on the same basis, from $3.48 to $2.56 per $100 of payroll. From 1 April 2013, ACC will classify these operators under a new, separate category.

The reductions come after TIA worked with ACC to conduct a comprehensive review of how levies were set for operators in the adventure tourism and outdoor activity sector. This involved analysis of the actual risks and several hundred historical claims made by businesses covered by the ‘Amusement and other recreation activities’ classification.

“We really appreciate ACC’s willingness to work with us on this issue,” TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says. “These adjustments will make a huge difference to the profitability of many of our member businesses. It also fairly reflects the nature and level of risk of these businesses.” Shotover Canyon Swing General Manager Matt Hollyer says the levy cuts will see his business save more than $10,000 a year on ACC costs.

“We really appreciate the efforts TIA made for us on this matter. This is a massive reduction in costs and shows the benefits of having a strong member organisation to tackle these issues on our behalf.”

Marlborough Sounds Adventure Company owner and operator Sara Archdale expects to save around $6000 a year on her ACC levies. However, she recognises that operators will need to maintain sound workplace safety and health practices to ensure the savings continue. “Continuing a strong safety record for the sector will be crucial to ACC holding these rates into the future,” she says.

For details of the ACC changes affecting adventure tourism and outdoor activity operators, go to 2013/14 ACC Levies Cabinet minute (see point 12). Operators can calculate their 2013-14 levies by using ACC’s online calculator www.acc.co.nz/Calculator/index.htm

Key Facts •Tourism is one of New Zealand’s biggest export industries, earning $9.6 billion or 15.4% of New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings (year ended March 2012)
•Tourism directly and indirectly contributes almost 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) for New Zealand
•Tourism directly and indirectly employs nearly one in ten New Zealanders (186,900 total) full-time equivalent jobs
•Tourism in New Zealand is a $64 million per day industry. Tourism delivers $26 million in foreign exchange to the New Zealand economy each day of the year. Domestic tourism contributes another $38 million in economic activity every day
. •Total tourism expenditure reached $23.4 billion for the year ended March 2012. Visit www.tianz.org.nz for more information.

ENDS

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