New Zealand govt steps up funding to help small communities deal with tourist influx

Published on : Saturday, May 14, 2016

New ZealandIn order to help small communities to cope with the growing wave of tourists travelling around the country, the New Zealand government is to step up support.

An additional 20 million NZ dollars (13.61 million U.S. dollars) in funding would also assist the sector in attracting “high-value visitors” all year round, Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key said.

The new funding aims to help all regions realize their tourism potential and reap the economic benefits that it brings, John Key added.

This funding is in addition to the over 130 million NZ dollars (88.46 million U.S. dollars) a year the government currently spends.

A new Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Fund will be set up with most of the extra money to help communities with small infrastructure.

The rest of the money would be additional funding for the government’s Tourism New Zealand agency to target key growth markets.

Recognising that some of the smaller communities require extra funding to deal with the increase in tourist numbers, the new funding has been floated.

Total tourism expenditure is expected to grow by 65 percent to 16 billion NZ dollars (10.88 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022, while total visitor arrivals were expected to grow 5.4 percent a year, reaching 4.5 million visitors in 2022 from 3.1 million in 2015, according to a government report released on Thursday.

Notably, tourism overtook dairy as the country’s biggest export earner last year.

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