Muller announces plan to kickstart tourism demand

National Party leader Todd Muller wants a $100 million tourism fund to back new projects to inject life into the Covid-hit sector.

The Tourism Accelerator grant programme would be over four years for projects where a National-led Government would pay a 70 per cent share of the project - but not take any stake.

"Once the border re-opens we need to be ready to invite visitors back," Muller said during a visit to Coronet Peak in Queenstown today.

"Tourism operators need confidence to keep their doors open and keep people in jobs."

It is the second announcement that Muller has announced since taking over the leadership, following last week's JobStart policy.

The criteria would be to increase demand within the tourism sector, and likely to provide commercial returns.

There would be no maximum or minimum amount that could be applied for, and tourism operators, businesses, iwi, or groups of investors would be encouraged to apply.

The grants would not be aimed at covering current operational costs, but rather new or amended tourism offerings, or marketing to new demographics or regions.

They would be decided by an independent board appointed by the Minister of Tourism, who would not influence the decisions but could provide guidance on the Government's priorities.

"National's Tourism Accelerator will provide direct cash support to businesses and tourist operators that are currently tossing up whether to re-open or shut up shop for good," Muller said.

"Covid-19 has posed a direct challenge to the tourism industry and our Tourism Accelerator is one tool we can use to help the industry rebuild and bounce back."






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