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Funding with tourism focus seen as great opportunity for region

The Accelerate25 Lead Team welcomed last week's announcement which will see Provincial Growth Funding invested in projects targeted at improving tourism potential in Te A€piti РManawatu Gorge.

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau met with successful Provincial Growth Fund applicants in Woodvill last Wednesday.

A unique tourist trail between Woodville and Ashhurst to showcase Maori culture will receive $100,000 to investigate its potential. While a further $100,000 will go to the Central Economic Development Agency to evaluate a range of new tourism experiences in Te A€piti РManawatu Gorge.

Accelerate25 Lead Team member and Te A€piti РManawatu Gorge Governance Group chair Bruce Gordon is thrilled with the announcement.

"Tourism in our region was identified as a key opportunity in the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan, and Te A€piti РManawatu Gorge is a unique landmark, filled with untapped tourism potential," he says.

"Additionally, Te A¬Äpiti – Manawatu Gorge Governance Group’s emphasis is on the recreational, biodiversity, educational and cultural values of the area.

"This funding is important as it will allow the recipients to consider ideas, with those values at the forefront of mind, and narrow them down to some key focus areas for further investment."

Bruce, who is also the chair of Horizons Regional Council, believes a tourist trail between Woodville and Ashhurst will be an innovative solution to showcase Maori culture.

"Virtual reality technology will be utilised to tell the story of Maori gods and their place in Te Ao Maori, it will be a fascinating way of informing tourists and our community of our rich history."

While in Woodville, Fletcher also heard from Tararua mayor Tracey Collis about the district’s connectivity hub and a drive towards a coordinated, well-designed mobile connectivity structure.

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