Another major tourist destination has declared that it is being choked by tourists and sees a levy on visitors as the best way to fund badly needed public infrastructure.
Queenstown, in New Zealand’s South Island, which has a reputation as the country’s ‘adventure capital’, is mulling a move to charge international visitors NZ$7.50 (US$5) for the privilege of visiting the area.
Queenstown, which receives 34 international tourists for every resident, is a magnet for young travellers, who book adventure sports including skiing, bungee jumping and white water rafting.
Now Queenstown mayor Jim Boult wants to introduce a visitor levy, which could be introduced by 2021 dependent on public backing.
"We desperately need a new way of funding our infrastructure that shares the cost with everyone using our roads, our water supply, our waste water and more," Mayor Boult said.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has agreed to support a $70,000 referendum to test the idea of a visitor levy.