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Venture Taranaki receives boost to progress visitor sector initiatives

Venture Taranaki will receive $1 million in additional funding from the Ministry of Business, and Innovation and Employment’s Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery, and Re-Set Plan 2021/22, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash announced today.

"Today's announcement is fantastic news for our region and regional tourism organisations like us nationwide," says Venture Taranaki chief executive Justine Gilliland.

"The visitor sector in Taranaki contributes hugely to the vibrancy of our region, while also contributing economically. This additional funding will help us to build upon the work we have already undertaken to support the region's visitor sector to be strong, resilient, and future-ready.

"We'll be able to continue our visitor futures work, moving from ideas to product development, in collaboration with our visitor sector enterprises. We will also continue work with our neighbouring regions on drive journeys, support our visitor enterprises’ capability-building, and increase our promotion of Taranaki to the rest of New Zealand as a great place to visit. This funding is a rare opportunity for us to significantly invest in the future of the sector, and thereby support the vibrancy of our region," says Justine.

The visitor futures work by Venture Taranaki looks closely at the likely future desired experiences for visitors. It identified the region’s key strengths and how they can be leveraged to create new and enhanced products and experiences, based on what visitors will want to experience in the future.

"The focus as we move forward will also strongly align with some of our other regional strengths, such as in food and the arts," explains Justine.

The Tourism Communities: Support, Recovery, and Re-Set Plan, is a $200 million tourism support package and an extension of the Government's 2020 Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Programme, created to aid the recovery of tourism communities in the wake of COVID-19.

Of the 2020 STAPP funding, Venture Taranaki was awarded $700,000.

To secure the Support, Recovery, and Re-Set Plan 2021/22 funding, Venture Taranaki developed and submitted a comprehensive proposal to MBIE. The proposal outlined how the funding would be used and the key areas of focus that underpin a robust and thriving visitor sector, the benefits of visitors to the region, alignment with Taranaki 2050 roadmap, and how this will help create a vibrant and attractive region.

The Tourism Communities Plan is funded through the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. It includes approximately $73 million returned and reprioritised from the 2020 Tourism Recovery Package.

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