April 29 2019
The way the council are wording the upcoming referendum so far makes you think it will just be coming from the pockets of the tourists, think about how it will get from the tourists pocket to the council, if it is collected by a government agency, will they take a fee? Also what happens when the occupancy levels in commercial accommodation providers drop like they have been over the past 18 months, will there be a new levy on top of the accommodation, on top of 15% tax everyone already pays and the new $35 arrival tax at airports. It will only be on commercial accommodation in QLDC area (including peer to peer, so look out all the Air BnB’s) so people will choose to stay in Cromwell and not pay the fee but still use our facilities during the daytime and hopefully still partake in activities but will they still eat and drink here or choose to dine in Cromwell, closer to their beds and save the late night drive through the gorge. What will Wanaka, Kinloch, Glenorchy & Kingston gain from this levy, except extra work to collect the levy? They won’t benefit from our new water scheme, sewer system upgrade and why should they pay when they aren’t getting anything in return except a downturn in their businesses? A smaller percentage on a broader group (especially as accommodation is third on the tourist spend list and only a small 14%) may actually be able to decrease local housing rates. An easy way to make certain locals aren’t targeted is to have a locals card. Most people either carry loyalty cards or a phone on them, apps allow you to scan your membership cards, the same could be done on a proven locals card. Smaller percentage across the board would be less likely to turn visitors away. The Council needs to be transparent with their proposal, leaving it to the last minute to say how the actual referendum will be worded makes you wonder... how do they expect people to have an informed decision or is this their tactic? Just keep telling the masses that it will be the tourist that pays, Wake up!!! Less people in hostel and backpackers mean less working force for restaurants, retail, activity providers and the list goes on. Get educated before you make your vote.