More than $300 million in funding has been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.
A $400 million Tourism Recovery Package was announced at Budget 2020 and with today’s announcements is now fully allocated.
The $311 million of funding announced today includes a mixture of grants of up to $500,000, and loans to support the industry through the uncertainties brought by COVID-19.
“The package will support tourism operators of all sizes and types including MƒÅori cultural attractions, adventure activities, scenic tours, and zoos, aquariums and wildlife encounters across Aotearoa,” Kelvin Davis says.
The package includes:
- More than $230 million in grants and loans for 126 strategic tourism businesses, that could help protect the jobs of around 3,000 people directly employed in the industry.
- $50 million for a Regional Events Fund.
- $20 million inbound tour operator loan scheme.
- $10 million to lift digital capability in the sector.
“Through the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme, we have approved support for 126 tourism businesses including 18 MƒÅori tourism businesses that will help secure jobs and boost business at this incredibly tough time,” Kelvin says.
“On top of this, we’re investing $50 million in a Regional Events Fund, to help drive domestic tourism and give Kiwis another reason to get out and explore Aotearoa.
“We’re supporting the tourism industry to help weather the storm, adapt to build new ways of working and new products, and build a foundation that will mean we have a more sustainable tourism industry that benefits all New Zealanders in the future.
“Our inbound tour operators are a key link between overseas wholesalers and travel sellers. We are offering the ITO sector up to $20 million in loans so they can be prepared for when international travel resumes.
“We’re also providing $10 million that will help tourism businesses adapt to our current reality by helping them develop digital strategies, access digital tools and benefit from the existing Digital Enablement initiatives.
“We’ve had to adapt the type of support we’re providing to make sure it was targeted, it was sustainable and had the biggest impact possible for the long-term health of the tourism sector.
“This package aligns with our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery, by supporting businesses, and positioning ourselves globally, and we’re confident this lays the foundation for tourism to continue to be a key part of New Zealand’s economy,” Kelvin says.