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 New Zealand to Tax Tourists


A cruise ship sails into Milford Sound New Zealand, March 7, 2017.

Most international visitors to New Zealand will have to pay a little more to see Middle Earth.

Starting next year, tourists will pay between $23 and $33 to enter the country, the government announced Friday.

The government estimates the tax will bring in as much as $55 million a year, depending on the exchange rate.

The money will be used for tourism infrastructure and conservation.

“It's only fair that they make a small contribution so that we can help provide the infrastructure they need and better protect the natural places they enjoy,” Minister for Tourism Kelvin Davis said in an emailed statement.

Neighboring Australia, New Zealand's top source of visitors, and people from most Pacific Island Forum countries would be exempt from the tax.

The proposal also includes big hikes to other immigration fees and taxes.

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