New Zealand's PM fears UK tax levels could dissuade tourists from visiting the country
04 January 2012
NZ PM disappointed at passenger duty hike for UK travellers
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key has voiced his disappointment with the UK Government's intentions to increase the passenger duty tax for people flying to New Zealand.
While UK tourists don't require a New Zealand visa for entry into the country, the UK Government does impose certain other taxes and levies: namely APD, and this is set to rise.
Air Passenger Duty, also known as APD, is an excise duty which is charged by the UK Government on paying passengers travelling from UK airports. The rate of APD is split into four separate groups known as destination bands which are determined on their distance from London; each band can then be further separated depending on the class of travel, resulting in a total of eight individual rates.
The current rate of APD for passengers to New Zealand of £85 is set to rise to £92 from April of this year, something the Prime Minister has claimed "there is no justification for an additional duty on air passengers which discriminates on the basis of distance".
The UK has been a vital part of New Zealand's tourism industry for years but the number making the trip has started to decline in recent times, with a further 5% drop in 2011.
Prime Minister John Key said "the APD places a significant burden on New Zealand businesses, on families who travel, and on our tourism industry."
Chief executive of New Zealand's Tourism Industry Association Tim Cossar echoed the PM's concerns and added that while a further rise on APD for long haul flights may not affect New Zealand immigration, it would price potential tourists out, saying "poor economic conditions in Europe are already affecting consumer confidence... so now is not the time to introduce another barrier".
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.