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FMC Calls for Strategic Taskforce To Advise on Border Levy

FMC Calls for Strategic Tourism Taskforce To Advise on Border Levy

The New Zealand Government today announced plans for a tourism tax or border levy, to be paid by inbound foreign tourists at the border.

Federated Mountain Clubs, on behalf of 20,000 outdoor recreationalists, welcomed the consultation, and urged the government to introduce a new "Strategic Tourism Taskforce" consisting of industry, environmental, recreational, and community representatives to guide the government in spending the new money.

"Any new money gained needs to be spent wisely, and this requires input from all those affected or with interests in tourism", FMC President Peter Wilson stated.

"We need a mechanism for communities to have a genuine say in how tourism is managed and how this money gets spent, and we can't risk leaving it to government departments alone".

"It is also important to shift the burden of tourism policy off the Deparment of Conservation"

Mr Wilson also stated that the need for a strategic plan to guide the development of the tourism industry was "long overdue", and indicated that the proposed tourism taskforce could develop such a plan.

"At the moment, we have no strategic plan for the tourism industry, which puts its social acceptance at risk, and the new taskforce could easily develop such a plan"

Mr Wilson also feared that the tourism industry was where the dairy industry was 20 years ago, pushing volume over value, and he said that "we can't afford to repeat the failures of that industry with tourism"

The proposed tourism taskforce would be serviced by Tourism New Zealand.

ends

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