New Zealand to Impose Carbon Taxes on Tourism?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Given New Zealand’s effort to wreck manufacturing and farming with cow taxes and renewable energy rationing, why should the tourism industry be left unscathed?

Enough talk – time for action on tourism’s environmental impact, says commissioner

Mike White
05:00, Feb 19 2021

Parliament’s environmental watchdog says the tourism industry has been carried and cosseted for too long, while its impact on the environment has been largely ignored. In a new report released yesterday, Simon Upton says it’s time for real action, not more marketing spin and hollow talk about “sustainability”. Mike White investigates how tourism has become a problem area, despite being a crucial part of New Zealand’s economy.

Poor Simon Upton.

Just three months after the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released his first report into the looming calamity of tourism’s unbridled growth, New Zealand shut its borders, due to Covid-19.

And in the wake of Covid, it might have been easy for Upton to say, okay, problems solved, crisis averted, and abandon the second part of his investigation.

But Covid will eventually end, planes will start flying, international tourists will begin arriving again, and New Zealand will remain an extremely attractive destination.

And when international tourism does resume, Upton says we can’t slide back to business as usual, with all the pressures and pinch-points we saw before Covid – tourism has to be done differently, and be much less environmentally harmful. There will have to be trade-offs between growth and nature.

Upton’s report makes four recommendations: a departure tax reflecting the cost of international flights’ CO2 emissions; greater involvement of communities in tourism projects; more power for the Department of Conservation to preserve natural attractions; and much tougher regulations for freedom campers.

Read more: https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/124272550/enough-talk–time-for-action-on-tourisms-environmental-impact-says-commissioner

Given New Zealands hard border lockdown policy, their tourist industry is a little academic right now. But just in case any New Zealand tourism entrepreneur survives the Covid pandemic, the Ardern government is readying to greet your business relaunch with a raft of new taxes, government oversight bodies and restrictions.

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February 25, 2021 at 12:32PM

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