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Friday 1 October 2021

Why visiting New Zealand is about to become more expensive

Foreign tourists arriving in New Zealand will be stung by a more than double hike of the cost of the border processing levy (BPL).

Which doesn't seem a particularly smart move with tourism in decline. 

From the start of December, the BPL increases from $20.11 to $43.73 per airline passenger return trip and from $21.06 to $36.72 for cruise passengers, Travel Mole reported.

The BPL is used to pay for customs operations and biosecurity services.

The fee hike has unsurprisingly disappointed the tourism industry, especially as there is still no news when New Zealand borders will actually open for foreign visitors.

"We are surprised the BPL is going up before we know when our borders will actually open and what the demand for travel will be," Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said.

"The new fees are supposed to recover the full cost of the border services over the next three years, but it is impossible to accurately predict what the travel patterns will be.

"Having secure border services in a pandemic is a critical public health requirement and it is not sensible to reintroduce the full-cost recovery model while border restrictions remain in place." 

He makes sense. 

The New Zealand Government has said it wants to transform the tourism industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, targeting more high-spending visitors amid concerns mass tourism is damaging the environment.

# Image: Auckland Airport 

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