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Tourism Central Otago gets $700k government funding

Tourism Central Otago has recently been approved the full amount sought of $700,000 from the Government’s Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme for Regional Tourism Organisations.

The funding is for one year only to support Council funding of the RTO and is not a substitution for local government funding for tourism activity. This almost doubles Tourism Central Otago’s budget for the current financial year 2020-2021.

The programme of activity submitted and approved fits across three strategic categories:

  • Destination Management and Planning
  • Industry Capacity Building and Product Development
  • Domestic Marketing

"What is particularly exciting is the ability this funding has to supercharge progress on a range of priority projects identified in the Central Otago Tourism Strategy," says Tourism Central Otago general manager Dylan Rushbrook.

"When pulling together the proposal documents, we focused on projects that will have legacy benefits for Central Otago. We didn’t see value in spending it all on marketing in a noisy marketplace, and so took more of a long-term thinking approach to our investment plan. By the end of the financial year, we will have further research and visitor data, a set of new assets, be undertaking a series of collaborative projects with stakeholders and neighbouring regions, and a destination management plan," says Dylan.

"Marketing will of course be part of the programme and we’re just about to launch our reworked Eat.Taste.Central. campaign, part of a wider food and wine tourism project identified in the tourism strategy. It will be a full-on year bringing everything together, something the team is excited, if a little nervous about."

Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan says it was exciting news.

"What is particularly exciting is the ability this funding has to provide the impetus for our small tourism team to progress and complete a set of strategic projects that will provide value and leadership to our wider Central Otago community.

"Tourism is a significant contributor to our local economy, and together we must ensure that Central Otago is best positioned to achieve a destination that both visitors and our communities value."

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