Since Lord of The Rings brought small, furry men, and the stunning natural sights of New Zealand to worldwide attention, Australia has only been able to look on in jealousy as its precocious little brother became a hot tourist destination. But not everything is going 100% perfectly across the Tasman.

One well-known Wellington hotelier believes New Zealand’s tourism promotion budget is “inadequate” and needs a shot in the arm of NZ$200 million.

Chris Parkin, owner of the Museum Hotel, said a NZD300 million annual budget would help sell New Zealand as a tourist destination. Parkin proposed a tax on international arrivals or a ed tax on all overnight stays.

The only way the industry is going to get more credibility with the Government and encourage it to invest more in `destination New Zealand is by being prepared to foot part of the bill,” Parkin told

However, New Zealand prime minister and tourism minister John Key has said a tourist tax is not on the Government agenda and the industry needs to fund its own marketing campaigns.

Overall I share Chris Parkins view that if you can increase your advertising and marketing budget, youre likely to attract more people to New Zealand,” Mr Key said. Key didn’t believe that the Government should bear the entire brunt of the move and the sector needed to play its part in promotional drives.

The United States has a tourism tax of $14 per visitor. Australia does not have a tourism tax.