Devastated tourism gets $400m slice of Budget

Wanaka is becoming an increasingly popular market for residential buyers. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Details of the package - announced in today's Budget - are still scarce, besides funding a nationwide domestic tourism campaign. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
The devastated tourism sector is set to get a $400 million targeted fund, alongside the extension of the wage subsidy scheme which will be available to many struggling operators.

The Tourism Recovery Fund will deliver various support mechanisms to the industry under one umbrella, said Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis.

The package - announced in today's Budget - will create two new programmes to give operators advice and protect assets, a group to oversee the Tourism Recovery Fund and a public-private taskforce to work through current and future issues in the sector.

"Tourism New Zealand has this week begun work to showcase New Zealand on social media promoting safe travel to New Zealanders.

"Further domestic activity will roll out soon, including a nationwide campaign."

Tourism Transitions Programme

This programme will deliver advice and support to help a business pivot towards the domestic and Australian market, hibernate a firm or work through other options.

Maori tourism will be supported through this programme.

Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

Tourism assets, like attractions and amenities, are at risk due to the effects of Covid-19 and if lost, could slow down either the national or regional recoveries, said Davis.

"This fund will identify those strategic assets and provide them with the protection and assistance they need so they will not be lost."

Tourism Recovery Ministers Group

This group will oversee the Tourism Recovery Package and tourism industry's recovery and is expected to include Ministers of Tourism, Finance, Māori Development, Conservation, and the Under Secretary of Regional Economic Development.

New Zealand Futures Tourism Taskforce

This public-private taskforce will consist of cross-government and tourism representatives and will prioritise the current and future issues of the sector.

It will lead recommendations on further policy and regulatory reform in the sector.

Davis said there might be more support announced "in the coming days".

"When forming this response package, my colleagues and I carefully considered feedback from industry. Initial, wide-ranging consultation identified a strong desire for a deep look at the future of tourism, but also significant short-term pressures because of Covid-19."

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