New Zealand’s Prime Minister and Tourism Minister, John Key, has welcomed the British Government’s decision to reduce duties for passenger flights to New Zealand.
“I have consistently advocated for such a change, which will benefit travelling New Zealanders and encourage more tourists to come to New Zealand,” he said.
Chancellor George Osborne announced in the UK Budget last night the scrapping of the top two bands of air passenger duty, which apply to long-haul flights, to take effect from 1 April 2015.
The changes means duties on flights to New Zealand will be reduced by £26 (NZ$50) per passenger or £104 (NZ$201) for a family of four.
The United Kingdom continues to be an important tourism market for New Zealand, but in recent years, tough economic conditions have depressed growth in tourism numbers, not helped by this levy.
The United Kingdom is currently New Zealand’s fourth largest visitor market in terms of arrivals (191,632 in 2013) and third largest in terms of spend (an estimated $608 million in 2013).
Before the extra air passenger duties were introduced in 2008, the UK was our second largest visitor market by both arrivals and spending.
“People from the UK who are thinking of coming to New Zealand for a holiday will be delighted by this news; as we are,” Key said.
“It will also be welcomed by our tourism operators in New Zealand who have also lobbied for these duties to be removed.”