Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand’s chief executive officer, said last year he supported a national bed tax and a border levy on visitors to help fund tourism investment.

There are also growing calls for visitors to pay to enter national parks, as they do most days at the Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks in the U.S.

“We provide all sorts of things free of entry, but not free of costs,” said David Simmons, professor of tourism at Lincoln University in Christchurch. “We need an informed discussion about user pays.”

Solving the accommodation shortage will be in the hands of private investors such as Auckland International Airport Ltd. and Tainui Group Holdings. They are building a 250-room five-star hotel near the international terminal under Accor SA’s Pullman brand, due to open in late 2019.

Until then, Jenny Nuku can expect more calls for emergency lodgings at Te Puea Marae, whose entire hall can be rented for NZ$500 a day. That’s less than NZ$10 per person for the 53 American tourists who bedded down there last month, and got the added bonus of an authentic encounter with Maori culture.

“They said they’d traveled around New Zealand, and this was the first real cultural experience they’d had,” Nuku said with a chuckle. “They had their phones and iPads out, taking selfies. We were just happy to be of assistance.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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